Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994


Tell me again, how that happened.

That happened, like I say and I went to that Latke and I sent her home. Because I was afraid, she, if she found out I'm Jewish, she would have herself kill me. I want to ask. I say, "Latke, what do you have against the Jews?" So she kept on telling me they dirty. I say, "Fine." I say, "You're so clean." Then she told me that they cheat. Then she told me they take, they make salami, they put in rats. I say "??? now you, you touch my nerve. I don't want to hear." I don't want to listen to such stupidity, but I was afraid. What could I do? What could one fish in wasser do on it? One bird doesn't make spring. You need a lot of birds. So and then he, he took me, then I seen him. He took me in, he says "Are you Jewish? Why do you have to stay? It's free, the Russian are liberated, look it's more Jews." I say, "Did they survive?" He says, "Look at them." They looked so pathetic. They looked so yellow. They looked so sick, you wouldn't believe it. Young people look liked old. They were thin. Their flesh was nothing, like skeletons walking. A lot of them were oysgemutchet--I mean drenched out, like they wouldn't have blood in, in their soul. And the candles, the Friday candles was staying on a little table, nebekh with a torn tablecloth, it was. Like a shabby piece of schmata. And no beds, but straw. Straw and straw and straw. And that's the way they lived. They were afraid to separate because they afraid they were going to kill them, that they wanted to be in a group, you know. Because they were afraid for loneliness, they want to be together again, because even some of them survived. They went ar...around the town for farms they gave away. They chopped their heads off. I knew one lady she survived with a daughter, a sweet little girl and him too. It was about ten or five or six kilometers from that Łuków. He went there because he had some stuff, they chopped his head off. They brought in the body to the ??? After we uh, after we uh, after we survived a young man, I don't know, maybe in his middle, maybe twenty-five, twenty-seven, maybe thirty, because the older ones couldn't survive, you know. Then I met that lady that she choked her own child. ??? is her name. You know, she was a real partisan. Because she choked the child, about thirty of them survived, because the baby would cry and that was, there would be trouble, you know.

Did she tell you that?

She told me that, yeah everybody knew when she was sitting by a bunch of people and she told me, she was straight hair, black hair in a bun. She was--she wore--she had Polish pants on, you know what Polacks wear those little jackets and her boots. I see her, like I see your face. I couldn't exaggerate that, sweetie, if not seeing it. I think they were in New York, she was much older that I am too. She, she married one man and then I don't know, he was too weak for her because he survived and then she married another one, but he was uh, in the Russian Army. ??? because she was quite ah, she was quite a woman. I didn't see her choking the baby...


...she said it. There were people that survived with her, said it's true, you know. It was terrible time, it was terrible times. It was unbelievable times and I didn't see it, I wasn't in that woods, but I've seen what, I've seen what went on in the Warsaw ghetto. I tell you little bit of stories. People walked around dying from hunger. Dying for hunger and whoever was weak, died very fast.

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