Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Receiving Help

Okay. Then from August, now, is the last, the last time we, we finished talking, you had already joined the Kovpak brigade...

No--yeah, but, but last time--yeah. We--you went a little bit back with the question.

Yeah, because I wanted to know what it was like in the house a little bit before...



Now, I, I, I told about the, the farmer that uh, kept uh, gave, gave us food and then some other people escaped from other ghettos and we thought that it's getting too crowded...


...so we went into, deeper into the forest.

So when did the Seventh-Day Adventists--

Okay. So in November, it was--started getting cold and it started snowing. So we had, we had um, how do you live in a forest without--and uh, what about the, the um, um, footsteps in the snow? We were afraid of that. My father and my brother and my cousin and another boy they, they built a little bunker. In that area lived Seventh-Day Adventists. So he to...and, and the Seventh-Day Adventists are very liberal, they don't believe in fighting, they don't believe in killing. So my father took me and my sister to the Seventh-Day Adventists and he asked them politely, maybe they could keep us uh, for the, the--during the wintertime. So they said, "Yes," they agreed. They, they took my sister and myself. My sister was a seamstress. And I just he...helped out. I was needing--I was help...helping out in the, in the house. They were very cheerful people and I found them very pleasant. They just tried to convert us. They said--you see--I told you that?


They, they, they said, 'What do you say to your God? Your God uh, uh, uh abolished that." I mean, "he completely--you, you have no faith," I mean, "you cannot have any faith because he's not taking care--how about joining our religion?" And, and uh, uh, so I said, "Oh, no. I, I was born a Jew and I'll die a Jew."

What happened to them?

Well I, I really don't know, because we had to escape from that area. But from what I gather, there were an awful lot of uh, um, the--the Germans were destroying the villages in that area because they were assisting partisans. So they considered them that they were on the, on, on the side of the partisans. I don't know in particular what happened to these. They had boys, you know, who uh, uh, they didn't believe in even to serving in the army. They did not serve in the army. And a lot of uh, a lot of the local people, local young people joined these partisans because they also so it's, that it's, it's a way of fighting the Germans. The Germans--they saw that the Germans are, are no good for them.

How long were you with the, with the Seventh-Day Adventists, through, though...

Maybe a couple weeks, not much.

So just a couple weeks.

Just a couple weeks. And after that, my father--uh, the, there was uh, a group of um, scouts from the uh, from the, from the um, group of uh, Kovpak, you know, the partisans, they came to mobilize people, to take them into the group of partisans. So this is when my father decided that that's it, that's our uh, that's our chance of maybe survival; if not survival, at least of taking revenge, of killing some Germans, doing some--something against them.

And die fighting?

Pardon me.

And die fighting? That's what you said--once before you said your father said he was going to die fighting if he could.

He wasn't going to--yes, he was going to die fighting. That's what he wanted.

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