Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994


When the Russians came, where were you?

Oh, that was a happy day in my life. I was in Łuków with that girl, yeah.

Do you remember seeing them march in?

Oh, I see them, we seen them. But they came, but then the night after, there was hell. We thought we all going to die. I almost s...stepped on a mine the next day. Because when the Germans left, they put mines in the fields. You--a lot of people chopped off their feet and the heads and the hands. We didn't know what they left, you know. When they came in. We were so happy. We, we thought that Messiah came. They liberated us from those vicious dogs, what they did to us, to our children and to our relatives. Who couldn't be happy? They weren't hundred percent, but they were better than the Germans, let's face it.

So the other Poles, were also happy?

No, the Poles weren't happy with the Russians.

Who could you talk to about it?

Well, I knew they were against, because between them they talked to each other, you know. Now we had one Nazi, now we had--they never were friends with Russia, things that I learned from later. They didn't like the Russians. You know, they--but unfortunately, Poland was defeated. I mean you know, They were in the middle they had a lot of things from Poland. The grounds were very fruitful, yeah, you would say. A lot of good animals. And the Germans cleaned them out. Then the Russians looked for that, too, but they didn't have so much Poland was very poor. They didn't like the Russians. They didn't like the Germans.

But you were elated?

I was, I was, I mean, I just didn't believe that happened. We weren't afraid anymore. We were afraid the Russians when they came in they grab the young girls too. You know, you have to be very careful, they didn't see a woman, you know. I remember an incidence they grab nightgowns, they put it on with bras on their head around, like crazy vodka. And one said one word. "When I drink that vodka, I'm going to go straight to Berlin." I will never forget. A little Russian went on a table, he jumped up on the table, ??? you know, when I drink, we gonna go and that was a fact. They went straight to Berlin, took a little while, took a good year. I guess. Uh, I got liberated in '44, in fall. And people suffered still all year 'til May. May was the general and the winter from '44 to '45 was a terrible winter because there was the fighting from the Wisła when they put in there. It wasn't the ghettos anymore, nothing, it was just between the Germans and the Russians. As the history says, if you know the story, you know something, that was a bad time too. A lot of people died from both sides. The only thing, I think, when they went to Moskva I thought somebody gave me a little paper, ???, from the Church or something. They had a terrible winter there, that was '44 or '43, the winter. And they, everything was frozen. They couldn't use gas. In fact, they showed pictures later, what they told me. And that and a lot of Germans died and a lot of Russians died too. They didn't have water. They use to eat snow. I remember somebody told me a story about Napoleon. Why did he win? Because he didn't have water. Excuse me--used to pee on the toast, on the dry bread and that's the way they survived. Do you know that story too? But just a saying, I guess, but I don't know. So that-- when I see the Russian, I just didn't believe it. But, I was still afraid.

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