Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Being Separated from Parents

How long did you remain in Sosnowiec? What, what year was it when they put you--when they took you to the ghetto?

Mmm, it must've been--my parents were gone already. It was already in uh, forty, forty three.

Nineteen forty-three.


Your parents were gone already?

Yeah my parents were gone. They were maybe uh, two three months in Sosnowiec and then we had to move to the ghetto, you know. Everybody, not just me, the whole town, yeah. In the ghetto, that was really something. This was where it started, you know. Every day they were rounding up people, you know.

You said your parents were gone, though. When we they taken and where?

Well, they took them in 1942, in 1942. You know I told you, they rounded everybody up and they took us just like Tiger Stadium, you know, Germans were around with machine guns and uh, we went in nine and we came out two of us, me and my sister and the rest I've never seen. Just disappeared, you know.

Did people know where they were being taken?

Well, they took them to Auschwitz, where else? That was the closest place, you know.

Wife: Treblinka, Majdanek...

No, Treblinka they were taking the people from Warsaw. That's closer over there, our people went to Auschwitz. There was no closer concentration camp, you know, where they were burning people, you know, twenty kilometers away from, you know.

So you and your sister left after they took your parents?

Yeah from nine people, you know, now, you know, sisters and a brother-in-law and two children and my father and mother, you know. There were, you know, we went in nine, we came out two. You know, my oldest brother, he was separate, you know, he was there too, with his wife and the children. He came out, but not--him and his wife, but--no, they were still in the ghetto with the children. They came out all right, because he was working, and he got back in the factory, you know, yeah, he came out all right with his wife and the children. I think they--he came out because he knew Merin, you know, he was his neighbor, and he had a little clout over there, you know, but later on he couldn't do nothing anymore, you know. He couldn't even talk to the man, he got so big, you know.

Yeah, how, how did people view Merin, how did they--the Jewish community view him?

Well, most people didn't even know the man. You know, I knew him because, you know, he was a neighbor to my brother; he lived right next door to him in the apartment building, you know. And I, you know, maybe sometime I used to go there every day, you know, work with my brother, lunch time I used to go home by bicycle, you know, eat my lunch, my lunch and go to my brother's house and pick up, you know, four or five dishes, you know, ??? used to take it every day, you know, five days, sometimes six days I would take it to the shop, my brother would eat his lunch over there, dinner actually.

This was in Sosnowiec?

Well once in a great while--everyone in the old country, you know, "Hello, hello," you met somebody you know like in the morning like, you know, a German one time. I was going to the station, you know, the train station great big German maybe seven foot, I'd never seen a giant like this. You know I was walking on one side of the steps he was walking on the other said, I said good morning to him, you know, good morning. He calls me, you know, over, you know, he says, you know, me, I said no, he kicked me in the pants and hard you know, in front of thirty, forty people. Okay a week later, same guy you know, right smack, you know, the same side, I said good morning, I knew him already you know I didn't say nothing. He called me over. He said, "Why didn't you say good morning?" he kicked me again. It's the way they were. You couldn't satisfy them, you know. I said, Hello." He said, "It's no good you didn't say hello," kick you again, you know. What could, what could you do?

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