Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Working on Farm

So you have to work, er, walk mostly in the daylight. So I w...I'm going, I went down there. And this took me quite a few hours. And uh, and when I was in, almost there, a farmer was riding with a horse and buggy and he had his uh, what do you call him? In Polish it was a ??? he was cutting, everything was done by hand. They were cutting the, the crops with it. This was very sharp and ??? and he says to me like this, ??? like Moses, don't go. They are rounding up all the Jews in Ciepiel ów. He just came from this city. They were rounding out the Jews in the, in the city. So here I am and I'm going to walk in straight in the fire. Then I wouldn't, I wouldn't even have a chance to see 'em. They probably would kill me right there.

[interruption in interview]

So I went back to the farm, I went back to the farm. And then everything l...like cooled off a little. So uh, I remained at that farm there and I was start the next day to go to work. So one of the uh, it's about ten uh, like uh, uh, i...in uh, in Polish the name is ??? in German it's a Vorarbeiter. The one is a little...

A foreman, a foreman.

A foreman, right. Saw me and, and he says to the uh, to the superintendent, superintendent was riding on a horse. He was their chief operator, they called him a ??? in Polish. And he tell him that I'm new. He saw that I'm new. So this guy, the ??? runs over with the horse straight to me, He says, "What are you doing here?" I says, "I came to work." He says, "Will you work good?" I said, "Yes." He says, "What should I do with you?" I said, "Whatever you want." "But you better work good." And he went and left and that's all. And I remained that farm there.

So what did you think had happened to your parents?

They went from, from there. They m...must have gone from that town, they must have take 'em from Ciepiel ów.

To Treblinka.

But I don't believe it that my father would go just like that. Because my father was a fighter. My father wasn't just anybody would take him. Because my father was a very strong man. He wasn't big, tall, but he was very strong. He could take somebody and break him in two. But uh, I really don't know what happened.

You think Treblinka though.

Oh yeah. ??? Treblinka or, or, they, they were shot right in there. They killed a lot of people in these place. I've seen it in Zwoleń. They went over--like there were some of the Volksdeutsch from the gendarme, I remember his name was ???. A Volksdeutsch. Pulled out and he went over to a guy and he says to him--I remember even the name from the Jewish fellow, his name was ???. The last name I don't remember. And he says to him, "You old man, you lived long enough. You don't have to leave anymore--live anymore, you lived long enough." And pulled out his gun and he shots him right on the spot. He did him a favor probably. To schlep him down there to Treblinka? And they squeeze in, in those wagons. So uh, I don't know. I didn't see where they--but that's--my father I don't believe it that my father just went like this.

So you are now back in, on the farm.

On the farm. And I worked there on the farm, worked there from four o'clock in the morning 'til ten at night.

And this is in what?



'Til ten o'clock at night. And when we took care--oh, food we had there. You work on a farm, you had food.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn