Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994

Liquidation of Ghetto

So this is the day you liquidated the ghetto.

Yeah, then when I came, so that ??? says, "What is going on? So many Nazis. I'll bet you they're going to kill off those Jews," he told me. What could I say? Nothing. The next day, I didn't ??? the same thing because, it's no newspapers nothing. And he used to say, "Halina, you know what happened?" I say, "What? They came in, in Łuków and they took off all the rest of the Jewish folks and they put them on a train." So I figured I don't have a mother, either. So I went in a corner, I started crying. No mother and no and I don't want to living. But I say, how could I kill myself? How can you kill yourself? What do you want to do? Took a couple of days and I woke up to reality, you know and I say, why did they do it to us? Nobody to talk to. My heart is so full of sadness and trouble. Why? What did she do? She didn't bother nobody. Just had her for six weeks and then it was Yom Kipper. Rosh Hashanah--that day I remember 'til I die. I didn't eat. I was afraid the Goyim should see it. Running, just crying and they say, "Halina, what's the matter with you?" I say, "I don't feel so good." ??? I was such a healthy girl. Go tell them that I just lost everything that I ever had in my life. My mother. Her heart was so full. To lose all the children and watching and not able to do nothing. Because, why? Because she's Jewish. Why? What crime did she commit? She was Jewish. Is that a crime? And then again you know, it went on and went on and we watched and looked and prayed the Germans should go be defeated, but everything took forever. I can tell you another story. You are a man, I don't know. ??? I got my period, you know. That was a terrible time in my life, too. There wasn't stuff like here, denying and going in corners filled with little rags. Maybe it's not important to the picture you know, straw you put in and nobody should see it. What a tough time that was you know, but all the times I didn't have it come ??? you know, you didn't have food and by sixteen you started to develop.

You were in hiding.

Yeah, yeah sure I was in--I was by the Goyim, go get you some Kotex, go where, what?

That's when you started...

I had it by thirteen and then the bad food--it disappeared. It's usually, as you know, by sixteen and that was a tough time for me, too. Sixteen you know, but, again, I survived, I survived, I was very innocent.

Did you know what was happening?

That I knew. The first time when I got it, I remember my mother slapped my face. I should get color It's just a tradition, I guess and that's what I did to Sonja, my daughter. "Mother, what is that?" I say, "Well it's a tradition." I was very naive, as you know, we didn't have sex education. I mean, you didn't know, I was scared of a man, because, the only man in my life was my husband.

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