Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Falling Ill

All right then, go on towards the end of the war and what happened.

Yeah, that uh, typhus epidemic--a few Jewish people died from it and I contracted typhus and this--that affected my eyes, eyes. That's why I'm blind. I didn't uh, I didn't get blind right away but gradually I lost. And then after the, the--I had the typhus--the beginning of February I was cured--I was healed from this typhus. Of course, we didn't have any medicine but uh, if I would have had the right--the good food my eyes wouldn't be maybe affected as much because I knew one--she's a landsman of mine, she was living with me in the same school. Here it affected her hearing, the typhus. She was a different--she was hiding in that place that I told you ??? safe there for Jewish people. Most of them survived there and then she went to the--with the partisans. And being in--with the partisans she had enough food after she recovered from the typhus. She had--she ate everything. She had meat and uh, everything she, she wanted--milk, and everything. Because of good nutrition everything came back mostly and she can hear. And from pu...and from me I still had food, I had bread and potatoes, but I didn't have enough proteins. I didn't have enough vitamins--I mean food that has all the vitamins. After I um, this is February--in March--I hear the, the Russians are coming back and the partisans are going back to, to the--where the, where the Russians are, are already. So we went back--we went after them. We made 120 kilometers in four days. It's 30 kilo...one, one day we were, we were resting. It's the second day--no, the third day we were resting and the four...actually it was three days we made 120 kilometers by foot. And we came to ??? the city was called ???. It's not far Dombrowitza. We didn't go to Dombrowitza on the way because we heard in Dombrowitza there was still a lot of these Banderovci even though the Russians were there already. It was dangerous. And uh, I and my mother were there with most of the Jewish people who we with us with the partisans. And uh, took about uh, three or four weeks, the Russians took me to the army but because of my eyesight ??? I could still see but it was blurry, send me, send me to work in this place. The reason was uh, they send me to that place be...even though I was Jew and I suffered from the Germans and from the Ukrainians but the Russians were--are very hateful against Ukrainians because Ukrainians are really, really anti-Russian. They hated the Russians terrible. When the Russians retreated there are many cases where the Ukrainians got up on roofs and they shot at them. The Russians didn't forget it. When they came back they really, really treated them the way they deserved um, so they took the Ukrainians, they took to the worst places where it was uh, if he was in good health, sat him on the first line. The only luck for those people was who was injured--in the hospital you survived. Uh, the Jewish people ??? with the Russians like the Ukrainians. They only considered the, the country, you know, the part of the country. They didn't, didn't look whether the--that the Jews suffered from the Ukrainians as--even worse than the Russians did, and the Germans as well. And uh, they sent me to eh, because of my poor eyesight they sent me to the worst places to work and ??? then. If I had, if I had good nutrition maybe it would come back a little bit and maybe it wouldn't get worse. Maybe I wouldn't have poor eyesight...

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