Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Goldman - June 6, 2003

Black market in Łódź

So they sent you to what, like a hostel.

They didn't send me, I just went on a street car and went all over Łódź.

Sleep and to, they gave you a place to stay, you said, a place to sleep.

Yeah, yeah. And then they were already doing their business, smuggling and bringing in stuff from Breslau, from Germany to Łódź.

You were sixteen at this point.


Did you get involved in that too?

No seven...yeah, seventeen. Yeah I got in...they got me involved in that too. But I didn't like what I was doing, but they knew. One day we--I don't know if I'm jumping the gun too much, but...

We can go back.

...yeah. But one day we, we, I was going with a, that cou...distant cousin from ??? he was, he went to Łódź and, and he had a go-cart that I--anyway that he, they send us to Breslau to buy, get stuff and bring it back to Łódź and then they had a big--well, I don't know what you call it inside the place--a market and they sell the clothes. So one day, one time we were sitting there starting to sell the clothes that we brought back. They uh, they hollered that uh, the police were coming, you know, because it was illegal. So everybody start putting their stuff in the, into the bags and uh, and running with it, you know. But then they closed off the place and somebody hollered they lost their coat or whatever it is. So the, the girl that was with me, she picked up somebody else's coat and stuck it in my bag. So they started searching and they found the coat in my bag, which I didn't even know. So the police and the ??? they beat me up because they found the coat in my bag. So after that I, when I got home I was all beaten up, you know. And I said, I said no more. I said, I found out that I have a cousin that, the girl, my first cousin, I found out that she's in Austria. And that's when I told them, I said, I'm leaving. And I knew that they were up to no good because they were both about three--several of these guys moving up to Łódź and they were carrying guns around and they belonged to the secret service police for, for the Russians. So I knew there's something going on there, so I told 'em, I said, I'm going, I'm going to Austria, so. Whatever money I had, they told me if you go to Austria to you can uh, have a fifth of vodka to go into Czechoslovakia, because the border closed, Polish border. That's what I did and I got to Czechoslovakia.

So you didn't need any papers or anything.

No, no papers. Never had papers. I just had from the... I didn't even have papers from the Jewish uh, Committee in Łódź, any papers.

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