Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - April 26, 1984

Life in the Barn

And this farmer brought you food and...

Yeah, he, he... Well, he put a, they put a blanket--my father and the farmer--put a blanket on the, on the, on the, in the center of it and this is where we sat all the time. See um, it was not a very big barn, so even my father was not very tall, he couldn't stand up straight. And, and my mo... I don't see my mother that much in that time than my father. And he, when he would pace, he would be bent. So just to give you, just to give you an idea of the size of it. So, there was... It was stacked with hay on one side and the other side was the roof, it was falling down. And um, and on the left hand side was a crack and that's where we would look through, you know, um... That's how we knew when day or night came, um... Um, the farmer um, locked the, the, the barn because he... He had kids, he was an old man but she was very young, his wife, and he didn't want the kids, I imagine, to come in and play and just discover somehow that we were hidden in the loft. Um, he would come at night after everybody, after it was dark and he would bring in uh, those, you know, like when you feed horses you attach a bucket like, you know, he would bring the things like this. Our food, well it was, it was um, it was um, um, like a soup, like a brown soup with... and bread. That's all. I imagine he wasn't wealthy, he didn't have too much to give in the first place. And I know that his wife was upset. She didn't want us to be there at all. Um, but he had control over her, apparently, because we're still here. But any rate um, and then we had a pail for elimination purposes, and that's it. And water. And he would come once a day at night and change all the things and bring us the food. And then lock it in again. Uh, on occasion he would uh, let my father... would open the, the entrance and my father would go downstairs and pace and sort of smoke, he was a big smoker. And anyhow, and then we would go back and, and um, and um, um, close up again.

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