Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994

Witnessing Aktion

He knew your father?

He was talking about a Skurka, I don't know if he knew him. He says there was very few. That time the few where the tried to do something. They died because, how could they survive? They had a gun, they didn't have bullets. Look at it, my husband jumped a train a mile and a half from Treblinka. It was all such a coincidence. He was hidden with his mother and with his brother and the two sisters. But they were bored sitting in the farm on the ground. And they wanted to come to see a Jew. You know, a Jew was pulling to a Jew. And that Sunday they made Judenrein. No more Jews. And they took him and his mother and the two sisters on the train. I was working not far from the ghetto. Because we didn't have water in the house. I had to go out for the water. There was a ??? already in the city. I don't remember, it was maybe end of '43, the beginning of forty...I don't remember exactly the time, so it was you know, we knew already that the Germans are going to sort of you know, they gonna get defeated by the Russians. Or something was smelling. You didn't--it was not to much to in the newspapers because they controlled everything. They just said, divide, I mean five fronts and they gonna' survive the whole world, you know. That time Dave was among the last, 1,500 Jews. I went for water that time and then I'm seeing ??? they say "Go away, go away, they killing, they finishing up the Jews." So I picked up two, what do you call it, water, two...


...buckets of water and I see what they did. And it was about approximately maybe five not gendarmes--Ukrainians with those big black death hats they had on their you know, on their heads. And they controlled 1,500 Jews and nobody and one guy ran away. They caught him I've seen it with my eyes and they put him down with the son, the son probably was 12 years old. I'm saying the words and I'm shaking and I want to go, but it was probably you know, because it was bombed Europe, so you run through the fields, so they caught him and they put the son on his back and one bullet they shot them both, but he survived, he played dead, the father. So he shook off the son and he let him lay and he run away. After the war, I'm telling and what came to the Jewish people, I tell them the stories that I've seen. He says, "Dos bin ich," that's his name, his name was Butcheh. I just see his picture from all my eyes. Do you believe it? What I have seen? He says, "That was me." I say, "Where did you run?" He said he run to the woods and he survived in the woods. What I've seen, I'm telling you. I've seen also a Polish policeman being shot, that he didn't want to kill a Jewish lady. She was pregnant.

So who shot him?

They stripped him, because I was with Mrs.???, that was his sister-in-law and he was Chief Police, Gelitshko I think was his name or something, you know...

You were working for Mrs....

I was working for Dave and they found out I worked for that. They didn't need me so they spread me around on the friends of theirs. I was working for one, she had a boyfriend a Nazi. She had a husband and he pulled my hair and I gave him tea. And if I would have poisoned them, you can be sure it would be in that tea. What could I do? What could I do? You know what else I did, when I was working as a maid already and I had my Kennkarte, I had something to show, because fifteen years already, you needed some identification. So she had another bread and it was still a ghetto. So I seen some leftover bread, I threw it out there in the side. She seen it once, she says, "You gonna feed those Jews." I say, "What do you mean, you don't eat that, it's junk, what is Jews?" I pretend I didn't know what Jews are. But I did anyways. I didn't care what she's gonna do. And I see the children came, because you know they had, jam in such cans. You know and they licked the finger they were so hungry. And she had enough bread, so she says, "It's old, throw it away." So, I could throw away bread. Still can't throw away bread. Still from the freezer to the toaster, cannot waste, cannot waste nothing.

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