Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Deportation of Family

You were wearing a band?


You didn't wear the band.

No, no, no! What's the difference? What do you, wearing a band. With the band or without the band. The death penalty was regardless. It doesn't--so he tells me in Polish, what am I doing here. I didn't answer nothing. And then he says to me, "What should I do with you?" You know, they had weapons. They didn't kill like ??? they handed them over to the gendarmes. So got--"What, what do you want? You can do whatever you like." Told him. So he says to me, "Get lost. I don't want to see you here." It was in a small village you know, and he was a policeman there. Maybe he was the only policeman there. And I went. And I came back to Garbatka. And I didn't know it, what can I do, where can I look for them? Here the man writes me that they're, he didn't see 'em, and then... So there was a place, a farm, a big farm there, not far. The name was Policzna. They had a hundred people working there. Before they used to catch people to work, they used to grab 'em. ??? people escape. But then for the last uh, the last week before, when people knew what's going on, so people gave money, they gave away their gold so they can go down there to work on that, in the farm. This farm belonged to the government. Before it belonged to the Polish government. They took over. But there was still the same guys were running the place, except there was a German on top of it, over...overseeing. So I went in there and I thought maybe I'll be able... And then they had three Jewish policemen there. One was a brother of this chief from the police, from our city. And two of 'em were different places and different villages. Because it was in a triangle and there were some small towns around there. They were bringing people there. So when they saw me with the other boy he says to the, the other two policeman. This guy didn't say nothing, my neighbor, our neighbor. But he says, "I'm not going to give my head from you. They have a hundred, count it, a hundred people here. You better leave immediately." So then this uh, brother, from the chief of police says to me, "You know what, today is a tense day here. Go somewhere if you can. And then uh, the next day, maybe." So I went, went away. And I went to another uh, place, a Polack which I knew a little. So he let me sleep at night there. But to stay there, it was uh, impossible. So money I had some money on me. Because without money you're completely lost. At least you could buy some food. Then I came and I wor...I try it again. I went into that farm there in Policzna. All of a sudden, I see a guy there and he says to me, "Oh I'll give you regards from your father." He saw him there in, Ciepiel ów, Ciepiel ów. It was a city, it was about seven miles from the city on the other side. It was like west. And he saw there my father and my mother and my little brother. And he was talk to them and he--they said, this wasn't yet, that city was still--this was at, it didn't belong to the Radom uh, district. It belonged to us. So they, he, he say he knows where my brother is. But he didn't know happened to me, because my--what happened. How did he went there. My father knew very well, if I'm going to be remaining in the city, that I will be back, regardless what the risk is involved, but I will be back or I'll send somebody. I, I'm going to do something. But when he didn't see me, I didn't come back. Then he knew that they must have sent me away. Knew I'm not there. So then he went. And he couldn't walk out the door, so he went to open up a window and he, he jumped out first. Then he took my little brother...

Your father.

Yeah. Then he took my little brother and my mother and they went to that city, Ciepiel ów. A small, very small, maybe there were two, three hundred Jewish families there. And, and so my father just was worried about me. He didn't know what happened to me. "Oh? So you saw him there?" And he says, "I just came from there. I left yesterday, Ciepiel ów, and I came here." And he was there on the farm, he also came to the farm. He was a man and uh, he was older than me. In maybe thirties, in the upper thirties. So I just didn't say nothing. I picked myself up and I'm going down there. And--but you know this all takes time. At night uh, it was impossible to walk because in, in, in, at night the danger was greater. Then you're more visible or somebody--'cause actually there was like--at night, nobody was allowed to travel like, after a certain hours.


It was like a curfew, so.

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