Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Violence from Ukrainians

Uh, my father, I, two of my sisters and the Polish refugee with two, two of his daughters and uh, two uh, two of our cousins from ???. Took us all the way to the police uh, police jail there--where the police was. On the way, there was uh, uh, a Ukrainian boy who was uh, he was a, a shepherd. It was uh, sometimes uh, in peace time he used to uh, take my, my grandfather's horse to pasture and uh, we used to pay him for it. This boy came down with a big piece, this thick o...thick piece of wood. We used to call it in Ukrainian a ???. And he hit me right on my neck. I don't know, I was surprised. And I had a big uh, sore for a long time, I still have a scar there. And uh, it just happened like from the other side came uh, the doctor, who was--this was our doctor, he was Russian nationality. Uh, he saw it. I, I saw tears in his eyes when he saw me. There were some who were, you know, they had a little bit ???, you know what ??? is?


Eh, they took us to the police department and uh, I went uh, we--before they took us inside, we were in the backyard there. Uh, there was a big tall fence--wooden fence. I, I went there in the back and I jumped right to reach with my tip of the fingers. And my si...one of my sisters who was killed, she helped push--pushed me up with my legs a little. I jumped over; I went into the ghetto--was hiding all day--hiding there. Little by little I managed to go back to the hole because those who were hidden in the hole beneath the barn, they didn't find them. They were uh, my mother, my older brother, my older sister, and uh, two, two younger sisters. They felt uh, I came just about ten minutes before they were ready to leave. And we left. As soon as we went out uh, outside of the city a bunch of Ukrainian boys and girls were uh, uh, taking away uh, goods from Jewish houses. Came out--they were, they were going back to the village where they came from. It was about five kilometer from there, ??? was that village called. So they attacked us. They had uh, they had uh, the cloths, you know what a cloth is that you wash your hands with? That thing over there.


That's a cloth. Uh, with, everything with the hand. They, they hit us and they took aw...took away the packages we had on us. I myself was holding onto a package of dry bread--dried out bread. And they, they uh, they pulled me with the package, I didn't let it go. And my older brother had a, a hatchet, a small hatchet behind the belt--he had a belt on the top of his uh, jacket. Uh, so they went to grab the, the hatchet from my, from my brother. I noticed that. I saw already, I knew already what he would do. He would chop us us--all of us. So I mana...on the way home from the ghetto I was uh, being very careful. Going into a house and waiting see if nobody is pursuing me. So in one of the houses I was, I found a knife with a sharp end. That knife I thought, "I'm not going to do this now, I'm going to take it, it might come handy." So then I used it against this uh, Ukrainian boy. I, I hit him in the uh, in the back, in the back of the--right here I hit him. Uh, I found out later from uh, from another Ukrainian that uh, Jewish--he told me, "Some Jewish boys uh, stabbed uh, a Ukrainian boy, took him to the hospital and he died." So when, when they started to--when they were starting to get busy to rescue him, that bunch, we had opportunity and we escaped, escaped to the forest.

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