Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Death of Siblings

Yeah. Uh, it happened uh, when uh, part of my family were with this uh, survived at that time. My--I and my mother and a brother and two sisters. And uh, that uh, father of this girl uh, we were hiding in the forest in a uh, shack uh, made of uh, branches. I, I with my mother went away to, to get some food. After we marched over--after we uh, walked about oh, maybe a kilometer and a half or something, we heard something uh, going on we didn't know in the forest--the echo--we didn't know the difference whether somebody was chopping wood--tree chopping off or uh, or whether it was shots from a gun. So we went uh, right away we, we were hiding in the--among the--between the trees. About ten or fifteen minutes after it got quiet, we left. Uh, but after a few hours it was uh, pretty dark at the end of the time. We came back and we found them--all of them were on the--in this shack in the forest were killed. My brother--one brother and my sister uh, chopped with uh, hatchets--chopped and thrown--they threw it on the fire. The fire was still burning. Uh, this, this man uh, was lying on the floor--on the, on the ground there dead and my sister on the side--the younger sister on the side. That's uh, that man--well maybe I should call him by the name because uh, the, man--there were many men. His name was Moshe Fishman. Uh, he used to go to visit his daughter very often, every week or two weeks. And whenever he used to go there--he used to come to his daughter--used to, she used to cry, "What could? What will?" She used to tell him that the Ukrainian was hiding her there in his uh, in his house that was hiding. He, he used to come in the evening to her and tell her what will happen with you if your father will get killed. So whenever he used to come there she was crying and telling always what, what he used to talk to her. Uh, after the war when I was--yeah, that was a long time over there after this I was here, I lived in this uh, this house already. When I went uh, 1975 I went to Israel when my daughter who lives in Israel got married uh, I went--two of my uncles on my father's side survived. They are both in Israel now. So I went to visit my uh, once my older uncle. And they lived in Dombrowitza after the war much longer than, than other Jewish people there. Uh, I would say maybe oh, eight or nine years after the war they were in Dombrowitza still. And uh, he told me that this particular Ukrainian or this one uh, this girl was hiding uh, told, told him--he spoke to him--that uh, the last time that uh, Moshe was over there to see his daughter, he told him uh, "It's very dangerous, maybe you shouldn't come. I'll bring you some, I'll bring you some food." And they made a special place--they set a special place where he used to--where he would leave some food and he, he could get your food and go back into the woods and live there in the woods. Uh, and I remember that uh, the last time--when he came back, when he visited his daughter--Moshe--when Moshe visited his daughter uh, he told us that uh, he called them Cossacks, they, they were pursuing him when he, when he went back. And uh, when he was already in the uh, in the woods he noticed them. So when he noticed them he, he went and hide and he said, then he didn't hear them anymore and he went back to the--to where they were all hiding. Uh, those uh, Cossacks, they were, they were uh, Ukrainian nationalists, they were called, they were called Banderovci, Banderovci. Some called them Bulbovci. That means they--Ba...Bandera was their leader so it's Banderovci they called it. Uh, Bulba was one of uh, Ukrainians from the old leaders, so they called themselves the Bulbovci too. Uh, that farmer, that Ukrainian farmer, has told my uncle that uh, when he was there the last time they surrounded the house. This uh, this Banderovci surrounded the house and uh, when he, eh, he didn't, he didn't leave until he noticed that they were not there anymore. Then he left. That type with one--I put it together these--both stories. What I know, what he knows, what my un...my uncle told me. But uh, I know what uh, he told me Moshe himself and, what he told me. I have a, a very big hunch that this Ukrainian must have sent them--must have uh, uh, tipped him off about uh, this one and he didn't want, they didn't want to kill him there. They went with him and they saw where we were hiding. They found out. And that's, that's when they did the job. Uh, I and my mother were not there at the time, of course, and uh, they did the job. This is the, the good Ukrainian. Uh, he himself would not do it. He was very religious, it's true. I knew, I knew him a little bit before the war too. Not, not as well as my uncle did. So he didn't do it. But that's the way he is. So this is one of the instances that I can tell you about Ukrainian anti-Semitism.

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