Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Liquidation of Ghetto

And that, how did that end?

How did that end? In August of 1942, towards the latter part of August, rumors started in the ghetto that they were going to liquidate the ghetto. And nobody knew exactly uh, what was going to happen. Are we going to be shipped to a labor camp uh, to a concentration camp.

Okay, you'd heard about concentration camps.

I believe they have.

But, of course, you as a child did not.

I did not.

Okay, okay so you were uncertain.

So my father sort of decided, he says--he wanted to make s...some kind of a get...away. So he decided this one morning in August that he was going to sneak me out with him, when he and my brother went to work. And--excuse me--and my mother was supposed to sneak out my sister when she went to her job. And we were all supposed to meet at a certain point at the end of the working day, and we would all go to Osawa where Mr. Yerushka lived. And we were hoping that maybe he'll hide us in his barn, in his attic. Whatever, but we were hoping that he will direct us some to do to get away from the ghetto before they start shipping us out. So August of uh, it was, I believe, I know the date, August of--August 21, 1942, my father and brother and myself, he snuck me out somehow, I was a little kid. Uh, I don't know how, but it was a miracle, I'm sure. He snuck me out, took me to where he worked, put me in a barn, where, full of hay, hid me in the hay. And he told me, he says, you just lay here. And uh, I'm showing myself, we're going to do our work and we'll try to come by every so often and look in to see if you're okay. And I laid there, uh...

Feeling what? Do you remember?

Feeling scared.


Lonely. But knew enough to obey, not to cry.

This was one day.

It was August 21, 1942. And during that same day, somebody else came on to that base where my father was working and he informed him, he said, "We want you to know that uh, your wife and your daughter were not allowed out today to work. They kept them back. After you guys left, they sort of didn't leave too more people out." So when he heard that, when he had to go back to the ghetto, he brought my brother over. He says, "I want you two guys to sleep here tonight. He said, I must go back," he said, "because I, I will not leave your mother and your sister alone." He says, "hopefully, maybe we'll try the same trick tomorrow." And he went back. The next morning we laid there. We noticed our father is not back. So we knew something was happening, something was wrong or he would have been back to work. About an hour or so later, we heard German soldiers come in hollering, "Juden, Juden, Raus, Juden, Juden!" Naturally we didn't move. We laid there. Uh, then they took bayonets and were sticking into the hay. Maybe this far away from us. And we laid there. Somehow they walked away.

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