Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Gringlas - January 14 & 22, March 18, 1993


How did you feel being separated from your brother?

Okay that, I was so terrible because at least we went down to, in that factory we could meet some people we knew from--Gentile people and, and my, my brother had eh, in this eh, court was--I find these zlotys. For awhile we have some money in case we can get something with Gentile, buying some food. So it was--if the--both there in my hometown with my brother and the factory was a little bit easier that you can get some food because whatever the Germans, whatever you got from that was not too--you couldn't exist. So, that was, he had some money put in, in a...

In his pants?

Sewn in that coat. And I was separated, I didn't have anything. And we, ri...I was sent to Blizyn. And Blizyn was terrible for me. It was, Blizyn was a terrible because it was surrounded with Ukrainian and SS. And uh, that Blizyn was that--because I was raised for the shoe mak...be able to work with shoes so they sent me to Blizyn. And I was still young at that time and Blizyn for me was terrible. I was sick, I had ty...si...typhus at that time and I was with temperature and was put in like uh, Krankenbau and coming out of the Krankenbau after that uh, I, a lot of, from, it was typhus, got up and died. I now, I was--I know, I was lucky, I was out, I got out, I felt better and the, the temperature went down. And I went out but you had--I was so hungry, terrible. 'Cause after eh, you were hungry, I never eat but then after, it's terrible, you're going, like, s...you're going crazy, what--you need food. And, and that time was eh, and eh, o...I tried to organize from the kitchen some--when they put out.

Stealing, you mean.

Yeah, to steal something. It was a Jew...in Blizyn it was a Jewish policeman at the door at that, at that kitchen in front. If anybody goes and get something he was hitting. He was hitting on the head. That's a...it was terrible. He wa...the Jewish guy was from Radom--the policeman. And uh, it was crazy, he, he hit you over the head because you wanted to get some food. And then he called you back after awhile and give you a little bit food. I couldn't understand what the--first he hit you and then he ha...have you back, give you a little bit of food. And that one time at Blizyn I was, remember, I had--I, I tried to organize a few potatoes. A friend of mine with--from Ostrowsa and we went in, there was a--in Blizyn there was a open--a barrack, it was open, nobody, nothing was going on. So I went in, I made the, the fire, with the uh, can and put the potatoes to boil, to get, boil the potatoes and I look around, the head from the Blizyn comes in. Head from the, the SS head. His name was Nel, comes in and saw me and I don't know what happened, I got so scared, he was so tall and I, I ran out of the building through the feet, through this boot, they were in boots, I run out...

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