Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Story of Baby

This partisan who was shot...


...because his wife had a baby...


Is there more to that story? What happened to the baby and what happened to and what happened to the wife?

Oh, that, that's a very famous story. The baby was born. I stood when she was born, a, a little girl. And when she was, when she was six weeks old, her mother found out that they didn't tell her the truth that he was shot. They told her that he went on a, on a sort of a mission and he'll be, he'll be back. But she saw weeks go by and he doesn't come back. At one time she spotted a soldier wearing his jacket. So she surmised that he is not alive. And, and it happened in uh, probably in May. We had to--all of a sudden there was a, a there was a--um, uh, they, they came to tell us that, that the Germans are, are uh, coming to fight, so they had to abandon that place. And it was--so we, we were all--it was a very uh, dark night. And it was still--it wasn't the, the, the, the ground was still half frozen, half wet. And we were, we were--it was so dark that we had to hold on to each other not to lose each other. So--and, and they, they took the baby. They gave her some uh, uh, homemade vodka, a little bit, she should sleep. But in the middle of our journey, she started crying. So they decided--and the echo in the forest goes a long way. And the Germans were--surrounded--were around us, they surrounded us. So they came to Sarah, my girlfriend. They said, "Sarah, you have to give up the baby otherwise the whole 120 people are in jeopardy." "How about," she says--that was--when we were still in the Jewish group. She said, "How does, how does a mother give up a child?" So she was giving it, taking it back and giving it, finally she gave up the child--she gave them the child. And two Jewish boys took the child. And they brought her--they didn't kill the child, they, they took her to a farmer and they said, this is a baby from a partisan. You better take good care of that baby, otherwise, you'll pay with your life. And a couple days later Germans came into the village and uh, the population had to run out because they were afraid of being killed. And this woman left the house and she left the baby in the house. She was sure she'll come back and the baby would be killed. She came back. There was a, a little bag of sugar in a red r...ribbon next to the baby. A German probably that had left this baby in the house, he had pity, he left something for the baby. The next time when the Germans attacked was about a week later, she already grabbed the baby and started dressing it, but she was late and as she was running out of the house a German uh, uh, caught her. But he had pity on her because she had the baby. So she knew that thanks to the baby, she, she survived.

So the baby also survived?

The b...baby survived. After we were liberated she came--she wouldn't give her up. Don't ask what she had to go through. She had to take her to court. The, the woman claimed that it's her baby. She raised her and she went through a lot with her and she's not giving her up. But she had to go to court and she took some--um, took some money to get the baby out of there.

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