Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Anti-Semitism of Partisans

Doing domestic jobs?

Domestic jobs so far. Now what was their--they were a tremendous help to the regular army. You know they were doing horrible things to the Germans, they were uh, dynamiting trains, they were throwing off trains and the Germans could not reach their uh, uh, front-lines. With their, with their uh, um, all the, the stuff that, that an army needs. So that was a tremendous uh, uh, hindrance for the, for the war for the Germans.

And was there any evidence of anti-Semitism among the Kov...

Oh yes, plenty. You know they used to th...uh, you have no idea how many young Jewish men were uh, uh, were--sacrificed their lives to, to overthrow a train or ambush a group of Germans and still there was anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism always existed, no matter what. We were part of a group that, that had one cause; to defeat the German army and there was anti-Semitism.

And how did it manifest itself?

The anti-Semitism? In everyday talk.

Just in talk?

In talk. Later on we had ca...we had a case where--I know of a case that one, one partisan killed a Jew in front of him. [pause] Just for, just for, just for him being a Jew.

In front of you?


You, you watched this? He shot him?

Shot him to death, shot him dead.

What did you...

What? I saved my...I was trying to save my skin. I mean he--at one point I was in another group. I was, I was the cook and I didn't give him what he wanted. Because there was al...almost all rationed. He said, "Watch you watch when I'll, when I'll put a bullet in your back. You won't even know."

So how did you feel about all this? Did you want to run away from them? Did you, uh...

No we couldn't, I mean we were already in it. From that par...from the uh, uh, anti-Semites? They were part of us.

And were you questioning again?

So, so he said, so, "That's right I hate the Jews and that's it."

Alright, you, you said it was five months.


And were there any uh, uh encounters with Germans...

Oh yes. All the time. See I told you, we were stationed--these were the domestic part of us. They were doing this--the partisans were not sitting and singing songs, they were fighting the Germans around them. They were doing all this kind of work, so they had to encounter Germans.

And, and your father, what was he doing?

My fath...see when we came, the first thing they told us, "You know these are--this is a partisan movement, families don't count. W...we--there are no families. Wherever you'll be told to go, that's where you go. You can't stay with your father, you can stay with your sister." So my sister and I stayed in one uh, battalion and my, my father and my brother were uh, were uh, assigned to different battalion. My father was doing all kind of chores because he had one hand but my, my, my brother was a regular soldier.

How old was your brother at this point?

My brother? We're talking in 1942, 43? Seventeen, I was nineteen, he was seventeen. And my sister was twenty-one.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn