Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Goldman - June 6, 2003

German Occupation

So nobody expected anything terrible?

No, we didn't expect anything terrible until the Germans came in and started beating up on Jews, shaving off their beards in the street.

Do you remember seeing that?

Oh yes. That I remember seeing.

Tell me about some of those incidents.

Well, they, they just pulled them over to the side and took a razor and, or scissors and just chopped it off, cutting the beards off. And uh, and the payes too.

And you saw, you were on the street, you saw this?

Oh yes. I saw it, sure.

Did you ever encounter any Germans walking on the street? Did you personally ever...

Oh yes, lots of them.

And what were you supposed to do when that happened?

Well, at that time when I was there I wasn't doing anything. I was just a little kid, so I just stepped to the side and let them walk.

So you'd step off the sidewalk?

Not really, would just step to the side. I don't think so they were bothering yet little kids.

Was it exciting to have them there?

No, it was not.

Was it terrifying?

It was very terrifying, yes.

Did it affect your family directly?

I believe so yes, because uh, my oldest brother, just before the Germans came in, he, he ran away. And he wanted to, he was going to go to Russia. But he got to the border and they stopped him and he came back.

Ah. What about, um, passing of various laws? Do you remember when they passing anti-Jewish laws in Łódź?

Well, not really. I'll tell you why, because we left Łódź--let me get back there--we left Łódź in I believe January of 1940. '39, just before that, they didn't have any restrict laws then in Łódź, not that I believe, that I know of.


The only thing I remember...well, my mother passed away just be...just, just after, after the Germans came in, a little while. It had to be in '39 December, whatever it is. My younger brother and I, they didn't even let us go to the funeral. So we stayed home. That, that I remember. After that came January uh, my father decided that we're going to go to the, because he figured it's going to--it started getting pretty rough already in Łódź, the Germans with the, the Jews, you know. He decided we're going to go to ???, to a smaller town. We'd be safer there.

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