Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Escape from Barn

And you're there with Anschel. What happened next?

Next, we waited 'til it got pitch black outside. I don't know what time, nine, ten o'clock, whatever. We started sneaking out, out of that hay, out of the barn. We got out through a fence to get out of that base. It was very quiet, I remember. This I recall vividly. It was like, you know, especia...you know, there wasn't a city with a lot of cars or anything. So it was very, very peaceful, quiet. We heard a dog bark, we, we fell to the ground. We were afraid--oh, they're after us. And we walked for maybe a mile. And we heard some more noise and my brother got scared. And he said to me, he says, "You know, let's go here." It was a, it was a little house and it had a barn next to it. And next to that barn was a ladder leading up to an attic. We climbed up that attic. He was afraid we should walk any farther. Got up to that attic. There were two other Jews laying there, that I believe also worked on that base. And I'm sure my brother talked to them and uh, we laid there the whole night.

Also youngsters?

Uh, no. They were older. There were like my father's age, probably in their forties. And, and uh, as we fin...as we finished uh, we finished the night, this was going already the second day without any food, any water. And it was August, hot. And that attic had about this much room. And, you know, had that al...uh, not aluminum, what is it uh, tin roof. You know, it was very, very hot. In the morn...early morning the farmer came in to do his chores in the barn. So he heard movement naturally. And came up the ladder and he looked at us and he said, "You're Jews, right?" What we're going to tell them, you know. He says, "Do you know what happened to the ghetto yesterday?" No, we didn't. So he gave us the, he was the first one to inform us that yesterday they took out ev...all the Jews from Rozhishche, took them about twenty kilometers out of the city. They had ditches dug and the funny part was that they didn't even have the Jews dig the ditches because they didn't want rumors to start too much. And they killed approximately 4,500 Jews that remained in our ghetto. Including my parents, my sister, rest of the family. And he told us, he says, "Look," he says, "I'm a religious man." He says, "I will not call the authorities to you," He says, "but I want you to know that the German government gave out a order stating that if they find any Christian keeping a Jew on his premises, they'll kill the Christian and his family, the same as the Jew." So he says, "I'll give you 'til nightfall." He says, "When night comes I want you to leave my premises." He says, "I can see you guys are hungry and thirsty." He went down and brought up a bucket of water and a loaf of bread, which was like heaven on earth, being parched and uh, without any water and without any food at all. And when nightfall came uh, we went down. In fact, my brother asked one of the other guys that was on there--was uh, used to be a, used to drive buggies, horse and buggies, used to all the villages and my brother asked him. He says, "Tell me," he says, "do you know exactly how to get to Osawa?" And to me he said, "You must know Mr. Yerushka," and he says, "Yeah." So he told 'em exactly how to go there.

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