Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999


To Osawa.

To Osawa.

And how far was Osawa?

I would say approximately maybe uh, fifteen kilometers.

Which direction?

Uh, I'd be lying to you if I tell you exactly.

Uh, you'll can point it out on a map later?

Pardon me? I will try to find it.

Try to find it, okay. So you walked to...

We walked down the ladder, started again in walking. And again the same story. Any kind of noise we heard we dropped down on the ground. Uh, I walked for a couple miles maybe and I started to cry. I can't walk any farther. So my brother put me on his shoulders and he carried me awhile. And then he let me back down. And I walked again. I don't know uh, how long it took us. But we finally arrived to Osawa and we found his house. And he knocked on the window. And Mr. Yerushka came out. The first thing he did, he crossed himself, he thought we came back from the dead. Because he knew what happened the day before. And he asked my brother, he says, "How did you two kids get away?" So naturally my brother told him the story. And then he asked my brother, he says, "Tell me," he says, "how did you know exactly how to find my house?" He says, "You were never here before." So, my brother told him the truth, he said that he was on this attic with this other man and this other man used to ride horses and he knew all the villages and he, he explained him exactly how to go. And I'm sure Mr. Yerushka didn't appreciate that too much because those days you didn't want anybody to know too much. But he didn't say anything. He says, "Look," and he told us the same thing as the farmer that came up on the attic. He says, "Look," he says, "I want you to know what, what kind of order the German government gave out about keeping Jews." He says, "but," he says, "I will do anything in my power to save you." He says, "Your father was a very, very close friend of mine. And I promised him that I will do whatever I can to help him or his family." So he told us, he says, "Look," he says, "right now," he says, "the--it's still before harvest." He says, "The fields over here with wheat are very huge, lar...tall." He said, "During the day you go," he says, "you go and lay all day in the wheat." He says, "at night or I'll come out and bring you out a little night or every other night you'll come into my barn." He said, "but we migh...got, it's gotta be uh, very secretive. Not to look obvious that everyday at six o'clock you come to my barn to dinner."

He was afraid they would kill his family.

He was afraid, sure, he was afraid of neighbors. He was afraid of you know, of anybody, because uh, you couldn't trust anybody those days. You didn't know who was, who was friendly and who wasn't. And unfortunately, the majority were unfriendly towards us. But that village, Osawa, happened to contain, maybe I don't know, twelve, fifteen farmers. And they were all from Czechoslovakia. And they were a lot nicer and more compassionate to the Jewish community than the Poles or the Ukrainians.

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