Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - April 26, 1984

Hiding During Pogroms

So, from 1939 you, you had moved from France to Poland to the Ukraine. Um, what happened next?

Well, the next thing I remember is uh, um, that, that, that my father and um, and that uncle, they started to um, they removed the floorboards in one of the rooms and um, and took out the dirt, started shoveling out the dirt underneath. And um, uh, they were doing this at night and they made sort of like a basement or whatever you would call, sub-floor with stairs, and then uh, they would put the floorboards back and a piece of cotton and a heavy armoire over it. And uh, when uh, this was really I remembered two, like now you would call pogroms, where we were in this hiding place, where we would go below and the uncle would, uh... When we would be awakened by shots um, at night and we all rushed um, into this uh, basement and um, um, then, then the uncle would always stayed out and he would camouflage the top of it with the armoire. And then after awhile you would hear, you know, people walking with boots and, and something, and um, and then I, I... The first time I remember that is, it seems that the next day it was, must have been a day or two later, sometimes it was maybe twenty-four hours and the uncle would come back and remove the furniture and let us out. And who went in, there was, there was us and I see a couple other people, I don't know who they were that went in, went into those, that basement.

Neighbors you mean?

I don't know. Uh, that was the first. And the second one very much the same happened. And uh, but then I think my uncle was killed on the second, second trip. While he was running away hiding himself after he... I don't know who let us out that, that second time, um...

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