Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


You were with your brother though, right? The two of you together?

Yeah, we came to Warsaw and we.

Now did you think about Palestine?

And I said, if we survive this kind of ??? and there was something going on about Israel, I wanna be, I wanna go--going to be--join the kibbutz. And we joined the kibbutz when we were in Warsaw. In Warsaw we worked in the ghetto. There was, yeah, after the, there was the, there was the Warsaw ghetto was all, it was liquidated, there was no buildings, everything bricks and bricks and bricks. Miles and miles where the--Warsaw was big. And the build...and we, in, in the, but where it was the ghetto they bombed, as, you know, what happened where they, the rest, the people were fighting the Germans.


So they flushed ??? in the bunkers and the rest they bombarded. So after the war we came back to Warsaw, we work...we worked in the, to clean the, those bricks. While we cleaned the bricks, somebody came back to the kibbutz and told us, there's some Torahs hidden in the ghetto. They knew exactly where it was. Actually it wasn't a Torahs, it was monies, whatever. It was a bakery, I remember it was a bakery. So we found a lot of money. And then we worked a few months in Warsaw, but we had, we organized to go to Israel, go all the way.

Was there black marketeering in Warsaw?

Yeah, there was black market, there was.

Did the money help?

But I was in kibbutz. You see in kibbutz it mean that you're in kibbutz that means, especially kibbutz I belong was you not supposed to have any money. Everything was like combined in a group.

So you were planning to go to Palestine?

I was planning to go to Palestine with my brother. And we stayed uh, stayed in Warsaw. Organized, yeah, Warsaw kibbutz was organized under Zuckerman. I don't know if you heard about it.


He was, he was--he worked--he was in the army, the Polish army as another Jew, as a Gentile, he was the captain, it was the biggest anti-Semitic army. They didn't know he was Jewish. He helped the Jewish people underground in the ghetto. That's where they had the guns organized they were fighting. He was the head of, he was try...getting them the help--guns. So he, after the war he organized Warsaw ghetto--Kibbutz Lohamei ha-getta'ot.

In Israel.

It was in Warsaw. He was the head, organized, he was, he was, 'cause he was a captain in the Polish army during the war, so he. Then after the war ended, he was in Warsaw, it was--he the one organized whatever survivors left to get in and he must have been a Zionist in the beginning, that's why he organized the kibbutz and he came in the evening to us and talked about. So we're in Warsaw and then, how we going to get out from Poland? That's another question. So to get out from Poland they made us that we are Greeks. Nobody to speak a word Polish. And we walked like whole group of boys, probably the American Joint made us papers that we are Greek.

Wait a minute, you didn't speak Polish?

Yeah, we spoke Polish, but to get out of Poland to go in to Germany.

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