Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Life in Hiding

Wife: He lost his sister then, didn't you?

One of the sisters uh, the--was separated from us at that time. The neighbor I told you was hiding in the hole too there. Uh, she joined them. She was with them and they were hiding a different place, but not deep in the woods--the front of the woods. So once he, he went away--the man went away from that family to, to look for some wood for fire. He came back, he didn't find them. Nobody was there. There was one Ukrainian boy, he was not--he was a young man, he was married then. He came there and he found him and he took them away to the police. His wife--that man's wife, two children and my sister. And, of course, they were killed. That man knew very well this uh, commandant from the police. The commandant used to come to him house and he used to give him everything. He used to give him food, drinks, vodka and everything. So when he heard that he went back to the city, this man, and he came to this commandant of the Ukrainian police and he told him, "What did you do? Where are, where are my wife and children?" He said, "They are not here anymore, they were killed." "You killed my wife and children?" He said, "We can't help it. You are here; we'll have to kill you too." That's what happened to this family and my sister. And uh, in the forest we, we were uh, trying to, to hide uh, used to make shacks from branches and then we learned how to make a shack uh, from uh, for the, for the winter. We made fire in the middle. Uh, we used to go out to get uh, potatoes from--there was uh, in that uh, big farm I told you was near Dombrowitza. They used to have uh, used to put out potatoes uh, in uh, big uh, hips--covers to protect it from the winter, covered with uh, straw and earth and everything. So we used to go there to get potatoes. Then we started going to the farmers at night to ask for food. Somet...we used to get bread sometimes, so on. So food, we were not, we were not too hungry. In the beginning we were hungry. But then, potatoes we always--most of the time we had potatoes at least. When we came to the, to the Ukrainian farmers, they used to give us food, even those who were anti-Semites. Even though who were going out, they had--some had children who were--who belonged to the Banderovci, to the Bulbovci, uh, used to give us. When we were in their house they wouldn't do anything because--and they are ashamed for the, for the neighbors. Each one were, were ashamed for the neighbors. But I know of many cases, those who used to give us food, they used to go--the, the children or themselves, if they had opportunity they--now, I don't say all of them--a big, a big part of them would go out and kill or they catch him, give him, give him--send him to the pol...bring him to the police--the Ukrainian police and Germans. And uh, that's the way we survived there. The, the ones--we were--we knew this place where we were--sometimes we used to come--there were a few Jewish people--Jewish men who had some guns...

Wait a second...

[interruption in interview]

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