Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Escape into Forest


Concoction. So she brought up like a handful and we were just eating it, licking it like it would be the best tort in our life. And we stayed there overnight. The following day an elderly gendarme was passing through the wood. And when we saw him it was already too late, too late to, to run, too late to hide. Because you know how it is in the forest. Here's a tree, there's a tree. So he was coming out somehow from somewhere. And we were so frightened. Walked over. We, we uh, met him, like not to run away. We met him. And in our broken German, we begged him. That we don't have any more strength to go to walk and to run. And our transport was just passing on yesterday and that he should let us rest for another while, for another few hours and then we will go on when the next transport will come--because they were going all the time towards uh, Theresienstadt. Towards the crematorium. So he looked at us, and he said, "Remember one thing. I didn't see you, you didn't see me." And he took off. So from that time we thought, oh, maybe our luck is with us. And maybe we should try to be on our own and not to think even about you know, going with any other transport, just--maybe we can help ourselves somehow. And uh, it was very cold. When the night it was snowing. When we got up, woke up in the morning, the snow had covered the part of the ground. And it was bitter cold and, and we were cold and hungry. We went--so we saw a--on the field a stack of straw--what do you call it? A haystack. We got--we were trying to get in one by one. And by one by one was going in, we were trying to build a bigger hole for each other. And we stayed there overnight, thinking what to do next. In the morning, we heard people going like from that farmhouse in and out. And uh, they were talking between themself. And if I'm not mistaken, my sister mentioned that she heard somebody talk in Polish. So we thought, oh, if there is already somebody what speaks Polish, so maybe somehow we get some help. One of us went out later when it was already dark. Everything had to be in the night. And she told him the story that we are here and there a few of us and uh, we are without any food, without anything. What can we do. We are cold and hungry. And he was a Polish guy what was taken years ago, years back to Germany for work. But with him he was fortunate that he wasn't taken to a concentration camp, he was taking to private people on farms to work. And he brought out food for us. And it was already dark, that nobody could see from the farmers, because they were Germans. They were--it was in Czechoslovakia, but they were you know, German people. [pause]

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn