Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994


There was a railroad in Łuków right?


There was a train station in Łuków?

Yes, ??? how do you know about that? You know that there, there was dead a lot of people they were on it put mines on it because that was the transfer station that went to the front to Russia. Warszawa-Łuków began on that train, you know what I mean? So, once they did put a bomb underneath, I think the AK. So what did they do? They took four miles to go took all the males out and killed them I think or whatever.

That's not the only place the train went?

Oh, those trains, those trains.

They also went...

My mother died in those trains. They jumped in those trains. One quick thing I wanted to say, there's a lady in Colorado. I've just seen it. How do I know that Mr. Sosnowic was his name, now he changed to Sosun. A bright one. Thanks to him, my husband is alive and his wife is alive. They were from farmers--from uh, neighborly farm--when one Jew knew each other. In fact, one use to come and pray in the shtiebele. You know, when they use to pray. So, he came in to Mrs. ??? that I was working. And she had, he gave us some cows of his because they used to do business, maybe a little gold, whatever the Jews accumulate the wealth, you know. He came in, she looked at me, she says, "Halina, give him a little bit potatoes and borscht. But don't let him take nothing." And happened that day, I bake bread. You know, I couldn't reach to that thing, it's hard to make bread and I was staying on a little box and it was so hard. I didn't, I didn't know of hard work and my braid almost fall into the dough you know, just pushed away that. And I put in something and I did the bread. No, when he came in the bread was baked. I took it out fun the oven. My God, so many people were hungry. Here's beautiful black bread, they use to make it with green wheat, supposed to put beets in it, it was delicious, you know. Peasant food. And she says, "Just feed him," and I've seen he's a Jew. He didn't know that I was Jewish. I stole a bread, but he was ready to leave, you know in Europe they had those little dark place before you go out like a space for grocery or something. I almost burned my stomach because it was hot. And he left. She turned away and I say, here--nah! He came to Dave to my husband and said "By ??? there is a shikseh, you know how we were prejudice against ??? the Gentiles, that I did something so good, God should not. I didn't know what that means, I says "S'iz du a shikseh" you have to speak to the older one, what they understand what this means. He couldn't say that I really did something for them good, but I did so something good like an angel from the sky. That bread, they ate. After the war, it was three months after they liberated and I was still afraid to tell anybody that I'm Jewish. I didn't even know that Jewish survived and meantime I was working in a hospital because they want to take me to the military. I was already sixteen and a half or seventeen, I said, "My God, a lady in the military, the men going to rape me, I'm not gonna never get married because I'm going by reputation was bad." Look it, so they took me to the hospital and I was working in a operating place uh, disinfections, cottons and those big things, because they didn't have the modern things. And once I went--I saved up in all those years, 280 zlotys. For my husband it was a pack of cigarettes and I was--wanted to buy a skirt. I wore one skirt for three years. Washed it at night, it smelled clean. Washed it at night and put it on, holes came into that. And shoes I got when the Russian came in they gave me a pair of boots, because I didn't have what to wear. I cherished those, I slept under that, that nobody should steal it from me. I seen him, I recognized him, ??? You know once a week they use to, farmers use to come with butter with eggs, what do you call it, a farmer's market or something. Something in that order. A Yareev, they use to call it in Yiddish, you know? I see him. I just almost dropped dead and I walked with a friend, a shikseh, Latke, was her name. Anti-Semitic she was, she hated the Jews with a passion. And I told her, said look Latke ???...

[interruption in interview]

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