Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Albert Fein - February 19, 2005

Start of War

When the war started--do you remember the day the war started? How you heard about it?

I heard about it. You see, what--in Uzhorod, like I tell--said before, they had the airport. The Germans used it, this airport, to bomb Ukraine and they was touring out from our city. And I remember I didn't see before this size of planes, you know, there was, was six planes flying out in one shot, and there were--the whole city was uh, think--shaking. They were flying low over, over the mountain and away.

So this was 1939.

No, this was '41.

Forty-one when they invaded the Soviet Union.


So in 1939...

Thirty-nine I remember the Polish army was fleeing from, from, from ??? to Uzhorod on horses, on wagons, on bicycles, on trucks. They was what was left over, you know, they was escaping. They was escaping from the Russians, they was escaping from the Germans. The main thing what I learned during the war what was going on in Poland. I learned a lot of, and there I was going to be a little older and I could imagine what was going on.

What did you hear?

First of all I heard--you see the thing was I heard this, this--they divided Poland. This was the first thing. In, in '40, on the fall, my uncle--the one what was with us, Moishe--he was deported to Poland. This mean there was the Soviets and, and they deported a whole group. The Hungarian, they tried, you know, to send away Jewish people who was not citizens of, of Hungary to Poland. And the Soviets, they keep--send those--they caught those people, you know, going through the border because the border was not a fence, this was just, you know, a marker at the border. They sent--and they took those people and sent a ultimatum to the Hungarian police: Don't send us more because we will come over to you and will teach you a lesson. This was ultimatum. No more--they didn't send any more. So they waited to '41, and already the war has broke out in Germany, and the Germans uh, took part of Ukraine, this was a Blitzkrieg.

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