Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Hiding

And this was going on like this quite for awhile. And in the night when it was raining, the rain still was coming through. In the daytime we had to keep very quiet and wait for the following night to get something to eat. That he should bring us up, bring us something to eat. We were starting to depend on him. And he mentioned--and there were a few farmers he said there. And there were a few other Polish people, because every farmer had a Polish man or woman working for them. So he told them about us already. But unfortunate, one day the farmer came out with a, with a dog and the dog didn't stop barking. So we were already assuming that we are getting into trouble, that this dog smells that there are human beings someplace. So that guy, Stacheck, I remember. He stayed on after the war. So I--he said that he's not going back to Poland 'til he won't be sure that his parents are alive. So later he gave me the address from his parents, and I wrote to them a few letters that he is alive. So he, he one evening he came to us and he said, "I'm glad to help you, as you can see. But that dog is barking and he doesn't stop. And the way it looks at, at the, in that, with the farmer, they're assuming that there is something is going on, on the farm and I'm afraid that tomorrow or so he might search--send out some people to search what's going on. And if you should, and if, if he should find you or he can kill you or he will send you with the you know, call up uh, uh, some German office and call for help that they should take us and send us over to Theresienstadt. So he, he did a very good deed, something unusual. That uh, he asked around a few farmers and he told them that a few people are hiding here. That they were supposed to go to concentration camp and they stopped and maybe they can be saved. And they were not so bad and they decided that they will take us in. So the first night I spent--they didn't bother to put you up in their house, in their attic or whatever, they said you just go in, in the barn. And I slept next to the pigs. The pigs were in one cor...in that--they had corners. So uh, I just lay down next to the pigs and they said in the morning we will give you some work and we'll see what's what. So the other few girls with my sister, they got a place by the next farmer. And that's how all day we worked. In the evenings we had a chance to see each other. We worked at the farm you know, and uh, they fed us. I won't say they ate what they ate, because for us if we had enough, if they give us a piece of bread and a potato, this was already more than enough. I mean, we were already the happiest people. But my work was that in the morning when I got up, I had to clean the cows with a special brush. You know, there's from laying all night. And in the daytime. And afterwards I had to go with the farmer on the field to help him with the plow, to plow the field. So imagine with my hands, with this is already how many, almost uh, forty years later how big my hand was that time, how old I was. I--that I had to stretch out my fingers to hold that plow. So the skin was just opening up, cracking and the blood was coming. But he, he didn't uh, not care, but he didn't show that he sees it. You know, like uh, didn't pay any attention. Like uh, be happy that I, that I gave you work. And your problem is not my problem. If your hands are too small to the hold the plow, tough luck. So in that cold weather you know, the blood--I was lucky that the blood was freezing from the cold. But uh, I wouldn't dare to open up my mouth and say to him, I don't want to work or give me something else to do. I was just going on and happy that in the night I had a roof over my head. Because in the evening they gave me, I slept in the attic. It, it was hardly any room to move around, but I could lay down on the floor and sleep. And uh, when they gave us in the evening potatoes with uh, some buttermilk or whatever, I could still take a potato along with me because I was scared uh, uh, that I will be hungry in the night, what will I eat. Or maybe in the morning when they wake, I wake up and he will say, I don't want you anymore and I won't have anything to eat. So I remember like today, there was a little window on that attic--on the attic, on the attic was a little window--I kept a potato there in case if I won't get any food tomorrow or if he ask me to leave, I should have at least that potato. Whenever I cook boil potatoes, I mean, potatoes when I make in the, in the, baked potatoes.


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