Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Conditions in Ghetto

Um, let me ask you some questions now about the ghetto, the life in the ghetto. We, we talked a little bit about rationing. Um, what, what kind of quarters did you live in?

Well, as I said before, we were chased out of our house. So we were seven people. We were put into a house with two other families. There was a big living room, a small bedroom and a kitchen. And in this uh, place we lived, three and seven, ten--thirteen people lived in this place.

In three rooms.

Yeah. So we lived in one room, one family lived in another room and the other one lived around in the kitchen. It was, it was hard.

And what about the toilet facilities?

Well, we never had any uh, inside plumbing. It was always outhouses.

So it was an outhouse.

It was outhouses.

No running...

That's the way we lived in Poland too.

No running water?

No running water, no. We had wells.

The ration...

We hasn't--didn't have telephones either.

Right. And no television.

And no television, for sure not.

Um, what about the rationing? What were the--what was the rationing like? What would, what would be a...

The 200 gram of bread?

Two-hundred grams of bread...


...when you worked as well?

When we worked, I, I said before, they gave us another piece of bread.


Another slice of bread and some soup.


Watery soup.

And the kind of labor you were doing?

Hard labor. We were dragging all kind of materials to the uh, scaffolds for the bridges, they build the bridges. In the summer we were doing uh, uh, cutting uh, wheat or uh, hay or digging potatoes in the fields. In the wintertime, if they didn't have work, we were cleaning the rail uh, railroads of the snow. We were cleaning streets. If they had nothing uh, not much work, they gave you a toothbrush and you were cleaning the sidewalk, just as, as long as you work.

With a toothbrush?


I uh, your whole family was doing this? Your mother? Father?

My mother and father, no, did not. And the two little sisters didn't. They were eleven and thirteen. So my brother was--my brother was about sixteen and my sister was about twenty. And I was eighteen, eighteen.

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