Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Death of Mother and Sister

Do you remember the name of the village?

The village, Berez...Berez...um, excuse me, I forgot the name. [pause] Bereshny Bereshki, Bereshki, yeah. That's what it said, Bereshki. That's where--that's the village that we came to. So the, the sun came. It--the sun returned. He, he--nothing to the verdict, we already knew what was going on. So uh, he came and brought us a loaf of bread and he said, "Well, what, what can I tell you"--the, the guy, the man. "Here's some food and do what you have to." So we left him. We started going in, into the forest, further into the forest.

Because what had happened now?

The--that's when they transported already the Jews...

From, from...

From Dombrowice to Sarny...

Just take them to Sarny.


Did they take your mother and your sisters...

That was the, that was the destruction, that was the destruction of the ghettos. They, they, they brought together 15,000 Jews into that uh, uh, into Sarny and they had prepared graves and they shot them.

And they shot them. And how did you react to that? Did you know that this what was going on?

Yeah, we knew. But you know, when a person is saved with death, the first thing that he save--he thinks about is himself. As cruel as it sounds, but it's true. We cried. We carried on. But, okay, so we're here. We have to, we have to live. We have to continue. So what do we do? We didn't know a thing, where to or how. We started going further. My father was a little bit familiar with these villages there. So we came in uh, about ten kilometers further, we came into a, to a um, farmer whose house was uh, s..separated. They--it wasn't in a village. You know, they had separate houses that were built on the piece of land that they owned.


We came in and we told them the story. So he asked--he asked about my mother. And he started crying and he said, "I liked your mother a lot." And he said, "Okay, stay overnight here in my, in the barn." We, we stayed there. And then we'll see what's going on. You know, in those days, besides the Germans there were, there were some gentile people that started roaming already into the forest and, and catching Jews, meaning that they'll, they'll, they'll grab some valuables from the Jews. And they did. They killed a lot. That night, these--one of these guys came in. He had, he was with two Jewish girls with him. And he just--I said, "Oh, hi." He knew my father. "I um, just came to, to see, are you okay? We'll, we'll get together some other time." So the next morning, the farmer said to us, "You better run from here because he's going--he's after you. He's going to kill you." So where do you run? He put us out. So my father said to him, "You know, I'm going to take off my coat. I'll give you one of my children's coats. I'll give you my boots. And keep us here as long as--I don't know how long." So he put us out not far from his house about a kilometer from his house. We were sitting in the bushes. And every, every afternoon he used to bring us half a bushel of potatoes and we baked. And we stayed there. Two weeks later, another ghetto was liquidated. And my cousin was in that ghetto because he escaped through the, through the forest, he managed to escape. He came to the ghetto. Why did he come? Why did he go from one ghetto to the other? Because the shepherds and, and, and other farmers would try--were catching the Jews who escape and bringing them in back to the city and--for, for killing. So he, he thought he cannot live around like this. He's going to go to another ghetto. As long as the other ghetto will stay, he'll be there. And two weeks later they started liquidating the other ghetto. He managed to swim through a river underwater. A lot of people jumped into the river, but most of them were killed. But a, a bullet didn't get him. So he came to our--to, to that forest, to us.

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