Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Life Under Occupation

Okay you said your brother and sister went to a small town right on the Polish-Russian border. What...


All right, spell the name of that town.

Uh, the, R-o-k-i-t-n-o. Uh, even the border was not a border anymore. But uh, there they, they have a different uh, different policy. It was the occupied territory from Poland. The, the Russians had a different policy. So when they came there by train, they did not let them through. They checked the passports and they said uh, the city that's not occupied by Germans yet they would not let through. So they were waiting a couple days, two days, three days. If they had waited a little longer they would uh, they would have gone. But they, they were too much--they had too much time to think to left behind the family and everything. So they went back. They went back home. These are the two who were killed in the forest, I told you. Among those killed in the forest.

Okay, so now your family's all back together again.


Okay, what happened after that?

Uh, after that uh, the, when the Germans came, I myself uh, was uh, we had um, we had a little uh, they gave us--the Russians they stayed with that land whoever wants to plant uh, to farm the land. So I was uh, the horse--horseback riding back home from the field. As soon as I came into the city was one of my uh, Ukrainian so-called friends uh, who learned into the same class--the same school with me. He said uh, in Ukrainian he's called me ???. "???, where uh, where, where are you going? Don't you know the Germans are here already?" Uh, and they, they didn't say Germans, they said uh, let--like they say in Yiddish, ???. Do you know what I, what I, what I, what I mean by ???

Mm-hm. Yeah.

Like in, in I think in Spanish they add a--I don't know how you say in English, in English there isn't such a word. There isn't such a pronunciation. In, in uh Spanish, I think they end with chico, I think. Something

Or they say mamacita or papacita.

Yeah. Yeah, in, in the English there isn't such a way of saying uh, to say somebody you--to--that you love.

You say it's a form of endearment when they add this little thing on the end of the word.



So I didn't answer anything. I just went uh, went ahead and uh, yeah, before I came to the city, he's still in the field. So one was the uh, he was uh, so-called uh, very friend of ours, the Ukrainian. Uh, so I--my--I--my father, my father was there too. Oh, that was a different time. This was not at that time. This was a different time. It was already when the Germans were there, it was later. Uh, so we went--we were going home from the field uh, it was a few days later. That Ukrainian came up uh, across, and we said hello to him. He turned away his head, he didn't say, he didn't say anything. Yep uh, when I came uh, back to the city and uh, this, this was um, uh, just uh, how do you call it ???, that's in Russian. Uh, when they came to s...uh, to, in the front, to come to see what's, what's doing the city and then the Germans coming in, you know, the rest, the army comes in. So the next day the German army came. Uh, and uh, the first thing they did, they called all the Jewish men--they called into the marketplace. And they surrounded them with uh, machine guns and cannons ready to kill them. So one--there was one German woman had a restaurant in our city. So the Jewish--the, the women--the Jewish women went and they gave her, they gave that uh, German woman, they gave her the silver, gold, diamonds, everything to, to give to the German commander and uh, she should try they shouldn't kill the men. And uh, they were rescued. They, they didn't kill them. They let them go. Only kept ten men. The one--the ten most uh, eh, how's it--how do you say it in English? ???. You know what I mean?

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