Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994

Gesia Street

What was the name of the street?

Gesia, Gesia--hundert un drye. There's a couple of, do you know what else ??? I don't know a person that he knows tse binich fun a shtayn geboren you know that, that know me like a neighbor, a friend, nothing. That know whose going to kill you ???. And how many you don't know where the others disappeared un opgevisht you know, like wiped off from the war with nothing. You know, because sometimes people say they survived together. I survived alone. You know what this means to be alone among a bunch of Goyim and keeping a secret for four years. What am I, what did I do a sin, I'm a Jew. In way to, to, to, to live to--I didn't believe that any Jews will survive. I didn't believe that. I thought that's it. And the last work I had, I was working in a hospital. It was a story, when I run away from that, from the people that I worked. I worked with so many people, they abused me so. I was like a slave, you know? But the last, I met a lady, I say what could I lose? Always be on the farm, I'm going to the city, to that Łuków. So I went there and they had a place, they give you work, ??? something like that, the German. So I say, "Let me go and see what's going on, I don't care what will be." And I met a lady. She suppose to go to the hospital and she needed somebody to take care of her boy. She actually saved my life. She signed for me for my Kennkarte, that I am 100% Catholic, that there was no Jews in my--she, she took upon herself, she trusted me, she believed in my lies. I told her...

She didn't know you were Jewish?

She found out later and her husband was an underground AK. Did you hear about the AK...

The Armia Krajowa?

They helped to kill the Jews. After they liberated me, you know the Jews, they right away do business, my husband was brilliant mind. We needed money. We need bread, we needed, so we sold thread. And I helped him stay by the window there and she came. She looked at me, she says, "Halina are you Jewish?" I say, "Yes, I am." She says, "How could you do it? They would kill my whole family." I say, "Mrs. Vanda was her name, ??? Zions is a ??? a Polish name you know, I have to explain to you because she looked at me and her eyes almost and I thought if she would have a gun she would shoot me. We had to run away from that city, because her husband would make us killed. So, I told her and she said, "How could I do it?" I say, "Pardon Pani Vanda, dear Mrs. Vanda, if you would drown, wouldn't you catch onto any little thing that you could get a hold to survive?" And she say, "How could you do it to me? You must be bright and intelligent. You knew our prayers back and forth, you used to go to church." And I say, "So what? I want to save my own life." She run away furious, absolutely, we had to pack everything and that klein shtetl that little town we had to go to Łódź, Poland. Because after the war they killed...

[interruption in interview]

Your second sister, when your second sister died, you said?

Do you know what, I don't remember that at all. I just remember--I don't remember, it's while I was still in the ghetto or when I was running, when I went away. That I don't remember the other. I just remember one in front of that, I was staying and looking after you know what was paper there, I don't think it was schmatas have much to wrap it around. I just remember my mother carrying her to the front gate, a gate is a ??? and her face was all shriveled away and her eyes bulging out and staying, it was not be able to do nothing for a child.

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