Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Life Under Occupation II

The biggest men?

The ??? the rabbis.

Wife: ???

Oh leaders. Maybe the leaders?

Not exactly leaders but...


Renowned. Most renowned.

Wife: The most well known, you know, that you...

Okay, I understand.

They put them in jail and they said, "If any German's going to be killed, these ten Jews are going to be killed next."

Wife: Was your father among them?

My father was not among them, no. Uh, so they uh, this--it happened at that night I heard uh, explosions. They threw grenades uh, in the--it's not the Germans but the Ukrainians did it in a couple synagogues. And uh, the next morning we found out a German was killed. So everybody start worrying about it--about these ten men. But the Germans went and they investigated and they found that one of the Ukrainians, a Ukrainian killed him--killed the German. And they got that Ukrainian in jail. And by miracle, it was a temporary miracle, of course, until the Holocaust. Uh, they were rescued. So we didn't know anything about it. They took, took out these ten men from jail and they brought them say, in a place in the--in a side uh, near the, near the marketplace and told them to dig, to dig a hole. So we were thinking here, that they're going to kill them and put them in the hole. The--as soon as they got--dug out the hole, they told them the size of ??? and everything. They, they brought out this Ukrainian and the Germans killed him and they told them just to cover it and they let them home. Uh, then they started to call the Jewish people to, to do some work for them, slave labor. Uh, everybody all except children and old men and women. Uh, e...women too, but uh, old women and old men, no. Uh, they were--when they didn't have enough work they used to, they used to give them uh, um, brooms to sweep up the streets. Sometimes used to give them to, to make, to make uh, to throw garbage and then sweep it up when it was uh, when it was, and it was clean. Everybody had to go to work. But the, the Jewish community made--it's uh, called the Judenrat. You heard about Judenrat.


Uh, you know this should go uh, that should go in order. And the Judenrat used to call up uh, the people to work, they used to send them, used to get orders from the Germans where to send them to work, used to send them. And uh, we were working uh, I, of course, I among them, and uh, we were working--some were working at the railroad bridge which was destroyed to--the Russians destroyed the railroad bridge near Dombrowitza uh, when they retreated. Uh, some were working in the--there was a big farm near Dombrowitza. Uh, some were working in the uh, to load car--the railroad cars and so on. All kinds of work. Then they brought in some uh, barges, they, they brought in the uh, people from a different town where they used to build barges. And they sta...they established uh, this industry there at the river. And there used to be barges there too. Uh, the rest of them logs uh, which uh, the Russians used to send the--take logs and put it in the river and let it swim to--into Russia when the Russians were there. So some logs were, got uh, stuck in the ice when the winter started. So we used to go in uh, and knock out the ice and take out the logs. There are all kinds of work. Uh, this is, this was going on 'til sometimes uh, in the middle winter uh, it's in late winter. Then they made a ghetto.

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