Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

House in Ostrowiec

You found the house.

Yeah, the place where I was born, but I couldn't find anybody I knew sometime in school, you know. So the woman came up and say, "This house I just bought it." I say, "I didn't come to--I just wanted to show my kids where I was born." She didn't even let me in, the woman. And then Marcy had the video camera, started taking pictures. She didn't even allow this either. It was a terrible feeling, the feeling that they didn't want you to be there. Didn't want you see what's happening. They're afraid, they, mean if you come there to see them that you're going to take it away from them.

Did you introduce yourself to her?

Yeah, I said, "I was born," in Polish I talked to her, "I was born in this home and I would like to show my daughter, came from United States I want to show them where I was lived--was born." She didn't even let us in. So eh, from there we went, so we stayed a few hours around there, I mean. And, and I wanted to find somebody which I know. It felt terrible that. And there was a few hours and we eh, was when we thought we going to go in the city, or we're going to find documents where the people used to live, but it was closed already, it was three o'clock, they closed. So we got out of there. Then I went--yeah, I went downtown. There's a area downtown, we went to a police station to find something. So I asked them where I was uh, Blizyn, in the camp Blizyn. He said, "Oh yeah, I know it's on way to Kielce." And he offered, he wants, offered with, he's got a car, he's going to take us. It was just from, he thought we were gonna, you know, wants to make some money. But we told him that we have, we have our own car, we rented. He said, in tell way to go on Kielce. So we went. Marcy wanted to go in that, where I was in Blizyn because I always told them what went on in that Blizyn camp. So went and find out that was the wrong way. The policeman from my hometown in the, in the mili...in the policeman told us way to go. On the Skarzysko way, which a different, more sou...away from that. It was too late. We left it alone, we didn't go to Blizyn. And from there we went to Krakow.

And that was it for your hometown.

From my hometown, yeah. And couldn't find anybody there because, you know.

Were there any Jews left in Ostrowiec?

There's no one left there's no one, there's not any Jews living there anymore. Which was about 15,000 people in it, my hometown.

Did you go to Skarzysko?

No, it was too late to go because it was getting evening and we didn't want, you know. So we went to Krakow. In Krakow we checked in a hotel. And that was. Yeah, it was Friday we arrived in Krakow. We checked in hotel and went to go see, there was a ghetto in Krakow. So in evening we took, we left the car, we're not going to look where it is. We took a cab.

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