Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Life During the War

Before the war began, what were your plans for your future? What did you...

Well, I was learning uh, I told you, I was a carpenter since twelve years old. I was trying to go to Israel. I knew things were going to be bad, that's why I learned to be a carpenter, you know, there was a country to be built, you know, so I learned to be a carpenter, you know. In ??? it was still us, you know, a carpenter, ??? you know.

Did you belong to any of the Zionist youth groups? Like ???

Everybody belonged to something, you know, we all had there were organizations all over you know. You belonged here you belonged a little bit there, you know.

What groups were active there? Do you remember the names of any of them?

Well, there was Hashomer Hatzair and there was all kind of organizations. Yeah, yeah there were all kind of organizations. I never joined up, you know, but I was mostly in sports, you know, soccer ball and, you know, and, you know, go to work out. I used to go to organization--work out all the time, you know. Saturday morning we get up four o'clock in the morning in summer time go out in the field, you know. There are ??? from Polish army, you know, had to get up and used to get up for business, you know, we were out jumping, you know, and being in shape. I think it helped me a lot, you know, to live through the war. Yeah, helped a lot.

Sure. When the army--the German army came in um, do you recall any conversations that your family had about what was going on?

Well, I wasn't home. They killed quite a few people, you know, in the building that we lived in, you know, and then we, you know, we evacuated. See when the Germans came in, I left my parents because they were looking for young people, you know, we separated, and we went back you know where my aunt was living because her son was supposed to be in Montreal, you know. And uh, we were hiding out, you know, up in the attic, you know. The lady that was living uh, the people that owned the building, they had--they actually, it was uh, uh, one building like attached, and one belonged to her and one belonged to our aunt and the other belonged to the Polish people, you know. The lady, the ??? lady she was cooking, you know, and bringing us stuff up to eat, you know.

This, this was...

A couple weeks we were hiding out there and then, you know, they came back so, you know. And uh, my parents went home and I was still left there. They went another way. I was here and they went the other way around. They went home to Sosnowiec. My father, he shaved his beard and when I came home I didn't recognize him. I asked my mother who he was. Yeah, you know, I didn't recognize him because I knew him you know for so many years he, he always wore a beard, not a short one, you know, always had a beard. I'll show you picture, I have picture.

When you came home, how had life changed?

Well, everything here was different. You know, the ladies couldn't go out at night anymore, you know, and whatever they already cards ??? you know. Everything was restricted, you know.

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