Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Hiding in Village

Supposed to rescue you.

Yeah, right. So in that village were, were some Jews that were not affiliated with partisans, that were hiding on their own. So that, that, that farmer knew about them. So he went--he saw that nobody's claiming him--me. So he went to the Jews and he said, "Listen, I have one of own. Why don't you come and get her? I mean, they threw her into my house. What am I going to do with her?" I was lying on the oven and I was singing all kinds of songs. Can you imagine how my brain was working? If I was in such a danger, how could I sing songs? But my brain wasn't working. I didn't know. I was completely confused.

Do you think you went a little mad?


You think you went a little mad...

Yeah, right. Anyway, so, so they said--they came. They did come, but they didn't walk in the house. Through the window they spoke to me. And they saw that I am--I looked sick. So they said--they asked me questions. I wasn't--I didn't act like a crazy person. I told them that I have a father and a sister and a brother and we belong to the Kovpaks. But I said--I don't know what happened to me. I, I couldn't--my comprehension was completely--I didn't know what's going on. So they said--so they um, took it that I am--because I wasn't all there. So they said to him, "Listen, you keep her as long as you can and we'll bring you some meat." So they did. The next day they brought him some meat. That was very scarce, you know, you couldn't, you couldn't get any meat. And about a day later, the little boy comes running to the house and he says, "Dad, the Germans are in the village." So the first thing he said, "Get her out of here," you know, because I am Jewish. So he took me and he told him--he told the little boy to take me to the house where the Jews are. So I came in and they were sitting all dressed up. It's like--and they explained to me, you know, that the Germans are going to enter the village and we have to escape. We're going to escape into the forest. Are you going to come along? Are you going to come with us? I said, "Yes, I will." And that night about--they gave me something to eat, but they wouldn't come near me. And um, um, they gave me something to eat and a couple hours later, they were alerted that the Germans are in the village. And they started running and they said, "Come on." I said, "No, I'm not going. I'm cold and I'm not going nowhere." And they left. And I was uh, I was--again, I was left by myself in a house. And I couldn't make out what's going on here. So where are the partisans and where are the Germans? Anyway uh, that night, that night they did an awful lot of putting mines on the road, the partisans, the local partisans. And uh, and there was a, a group that had to leave that particular area because they were also in danger of being um, attacked by the Germans. So they came into the house, there was a whole group of them. And I was lying there. And there was a Jewish girl. She came up to me and she spoke to me in Jewish and she asked me questions. And I just answered them. And I said, "You are partisans, how about taking me along?" So I remember her saying to, to the other people, "She's a very sick person." And that was it. They stayed until about um, um, uh, daybreak and they left. And I am by myself. I stayed in the house by myself. And by the way, the population of the village also ran away into the forest because they were afraid that the Germans will kill them because they were assisting partisans. They were not assisting partisans out of goodwill. The partisans were in the area and they had to comply with their orders. So they escaped into the forest too. It was a very small village, maybe of 200 population.

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