Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Liquidation of Ghetto (Continued)

Being downstairs, being all together on that big field, we had to march 'til the cemetery, 'til the Jewish cemetery, it was quite a walk. And there where everything started. When we came to the gates of the cemetery [crying] they were starting to segregate people. That time we were still all together, with my parents. That moment was that last moment. It was, [pause, crying] it was the last hour of our lives that we were still together. Now I realize how precious that hour was to me. When we came to the gates, they were staying from the Gestapo and the SS and with whips in their hands, they were just shoving people right and left. Somehow they were looking for young people to one side and older people and with people and real young to the other side. If I am not mistaken, three quarters of the people were pushed right away to the other side. By saying the other side means, [crying] to the side where they were planning to destroy them. Not even knowing where I was going. And all right, I could just see that I was on, on the right, my parents and the older sister, Tova, and the three younger sisters, they were together pushed with my parents. My father was holding on to my mother, and the kids were clinging to them. My father was hold [crying] pushed his black coat over his head like not to look at the Gestapo or the SS not to show them his pitiful white face, not to show them the fear because all the years, so many people looked up to him and he was so adored. And my parents were so loved by everybody. And here you had to face them, such animals. So by keeping his head in the coat, my father pushed over that coat over his head, holding on to my mother and the children, the rest of my sisters were holding on together, they were pushed to the other side. Myself and my sister Sasha, we went to the other side. Really, not realizing what's going to be and why we are not going with them. But you couldn't, because they were staying in the middle and they were pushing right, left. There was no way that we could go on their side, and it was no way that they could go on our side. And we were laying all--and this was going on so 'til late in the afternoon, 'til they got through with that, with the segregation. Because they didn't want to make any mistake. God forbid that one, maybe of the older people or too young should get in between those people what they were planning to send someplace to working places. We were there at the bat olem, which means Jewish cemetery, all night between the graves, not knowing what will be in the morning. Maybe I could even go on the other side in the nighttime, go to the other between the graves, to the other, to the side where my parents and my sisters were still there. But really 'til now, I cannot answer even to myself that question. Why didn't I go? Why did I stay on here? Where I am going now, what will I do without my parents, what will I do with my loved ones? But somehow I didn't have the courage. And we both stayed on, on that side. And in the morning busses were coming. All the other people were loaded on busses. They took them away. We never saw them again. [crying] We heard after the war, that those busses [crying] were equipped with gas lines. And most of the people what were in the busses, were suffocated from that gas. They took them to a concentration camp. A lot of them were burned alive. Some of them died on the way. They were saying that some of them went into crematoriums. Some of them just, they made big holes with some chemicals. Those chemicals were in those graves and they pushed them all in. [crying] That's how they were buried. The rest of us was left. They took us to the train station. There we were loaded on cattle cars to the train carried someplace. Being already on the train, some from the Jewish policemen, they mentioned they are taking us to Łódź to the ghetto. And we heard before in Zdunska Wola, we heard before about the Łódź ghetto.

[interruption in interview]

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