Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Separated from Family

Um, let me take you ahead a little bit now. You remember, you said it was on a Saturday night, you went back to the factory in Ostrowiec--to Hochofen and you knew that you weren't going to see your family again. What happened before you left? Did you talk to them?

Yeah, that evening that we had a, had a feeling in the house that that's what's going to come. Sunday morning they're gonna take all the Jews out and gonna send them away and I was working at night shift going. So I knew that uh, that was terrible, there was a terrible feeling. I looked at my parents and then I left. And I had a, exact...I had a feeling that that's it. I won't be able to see anymore.

Did you say anything?

Yeah, we talk about it, but we cou...we couldn't help each other, couldn't do anything about it. That's the first thing--your, your father sees that I'm going away, he's not going to see me and I know eh, I know I'm not going to see him anymore and you can't do anything about it. [pause] It was a uh, like a feeling, a, a scary feeling's coming like, you know, you'd be surrounded and you'd be sent away.

So there was no goodbye then. Was it?

No, there was no goodbye or anything. No, not like this. Just, just looking in their, between, look on your faces between your parents, you could se...feel it, that, you know, I went out ??? to the factory.

Um, did you, you were with your brother in the factory though.

Yeah, the--as I told you, my brother was in day shift and after the, the Aussiedlung what you call it, sending away the people, he was on the list. He was there, so they took him. I, I didn't see him 'til next day in the evening, Sunday evening.

And did he tell you what happened?

Yeah, he told me that, he told me what happened that uh, they were sent away. And a lot of people, it was tumult you know in the market a lot of older Jews came out. And they got them out and, and surrounded with Ukrainian with the guns. And uh, and I, I and I was start...when I saw him in the evening I start crying. It was, it must have been a few hours 'til I, I could get myself to quiet down, because I knew what, what happened.

And your brother Yakov? He disappeared?

Yeah, the--my brother, so, he was during the war the soldier went to the war. He, we, we had a lot of friends coming from my hometown that he saw him that uh, the war was over, the fighting was over and we, we counted the days coming, he never came back.

Did you think that you were going to find him after the war?

I, I had a--I would say the percentage of thinking somebody would find him was very slim. But I thought about him more than about other ones because he was eh, life after the fight in, with the Germans. But maybe he got, because a lot of Jewish people went to Russia too. So that's something I hope. Maybe, maybe he saved himself. But never heard from him.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn