Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Liquidation of Ghetto

What moved uh, was your ghetto liquidated?

Yes. This is where all, really, the, the trouble started. Because 'til then, even if we didn't live anymore like we were accustomed to it, but it was still good for us and we were still pretty happy that we were together. Just one brother, the one what is still missing, Favo, he was not with us in the Zdunska Wola ghetto. At the end of '39 he went across the borders to Russia and he never had a chance to come back and we, and we didn't see him since. So.

The question was..

[unintelligible sound]

You were going to start describing the liquidation of the...

Yeah. It started one morning with uh, nobody went to work that day. Or it was before we were, we're supposed to go to work. Came an announcement. I can't recall how it was. Or they were coming around and all, on, on a few houses you know, like uh, like on the back of a building and Jewish police announced that within an hour, all of the people young and old, everybody has to come to that certain place. We have to have a gathering there. So we all got together. Staying there, they said--I think that this was the voice of Dr. Lemberg. He was the Ältester from the Juden. That all children have to come out and get together here in the middle of that certain big field and they will be sent to a special place. It was supposed to be a camp for the children. So without hesitating, we had to part from our youngest sister, Naomi. She was that time maybe eight years, nine years old. Ten. I really can't think exactly how old she was. She was the youngest. Because they mentioned to a certain age, the kids have to come out. So our heart, that goodbye was, was unforgettable. So she went in the middle of that field and we could still see her from far away. I just, I mentioned before, that it was Dr. Lemberg's voice, that he announced it. He had to do whatever the Germans, whatever the SS asked him to do it. I'm sure, if it would be, it would be up to him, he would fight for it. But there was no other way to get out. And maybe they even tricked him into it, that it's just a camp for children and this you know, at home they don't have enough food, they don't have enough air, they don't have enough this and that, and there it will be better for them. They took them all away [crying] on big busses and we never saw her again. Staying quiet for awhile, crying, carrying on. We had, they ask us to leave the place and go back to the homes. And they were starting to shoot in the air, like they mean business. Better go home. If not, we will start to kill people. So we went home. Coming to the house, even if there were still a houseful and we were still a family, just the youngest one, Naomi was missing. That house was so empty. [crying] It was so heart...heartbreaking that this is the scene, that 'til now, even fif...passed already so many years, whenever I look even at my children, grandchildren, that thank God that I'm still blessed with them. I think of our youngest one. That having still nine other children you know, my parents had already at that time four grandchildren. We missed her so much and that pain was so great that my parents were walking around for hours, not saying a word, just staring at each other. But this was not enough. After a few hours, came another announcement. That we have to come down again on the same place. It's another gathering. And that the German SS with the, with the Oberscharführers and uh, with the Jewish police. They have some more news for us. [pause]

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