Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Conditions in Ghetto (Continued)

That's okay. Do you know if there was any smuggling into the ghetto?

Yes, yes.

How it was done or…

Yes, people were smuggling in and out of the ghetto. This I know because uh, when they were going out to work, saw they had a chance. I mean, going out to work means that they left the ghetto. They were wor...in the city, because there were many places in the city that the Jews were called to work because they didn't want to use the Germans. The Germans were you know, better people, and the Jew was good you know, for all kind of dirty work and for all kind of hard work. So by the same token, going out sometime they got in touch, let's say, with a Polish guy from outside of the ghetto. And sometime one knew the other from before or even they didn't, so they knew the language. They could get a whole you know, they could uh, communicate. But that was, there were going on some business. Even if they risked their life, because they never knew with whom they are dealing, because even if the guy spoke Polish he could still be a German because Zdunska Wola was a city that uh, it was a German city really. The whole industry was uh, from knitting you know, and those things. And it was mostly, the Gentile people were mostly German people. I won't say German people that they were from Germany, but it was a mixed population. There were Polish people and there were German people. So here, and all the Germans they spoke Polish. So we really didn't know with whom you were dealing. You had to, if you want to survive and if you want to uh, have a few, a few more things or, or eat a little better or be dressed a little better, I wouldn't say nicer you know, just warmer, or have better shoes or a warmer coat, you had to risk your life.

Was there any resistance in the ghetto that you know of?

Not that I can recall.

Okay. Were you required to wear an armband?

Yes. We were wearing armbands and uh, and if it was, it was a yellow armband. And if it wasn't an armband, we had to have a Judenstern, a Juden star on our chest and on our back. This was like, if you were walking in the front, the Germans could see that a Juda is coming on, and if not, they could see you, if somebody was in back of you, they could see that it's still a Jude, a Jew. Say like it was uh, uh, they were against it, that religious people, Orthodox people should have beards. You probably know that in Poland it was a custom.

Mm-hm.

It's the same thing is here too, but here you see uh, already more people with beards, but in, in Europe, Poland, it was a custom that a religious man had a beard and payes. This was like a, uh…

Hair locks in front.

hair, hair locks coming uh, coming down in front of your face, of pa...your ears. And they were very much against it and they have to be shaved, they have to be shaved off.


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