Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Mr. Yerushka

They were from Czechoslovakia. Not Slovakia.


Czechoslovakia, further north.

Right. I don't know what years they settled there, but they'd been there for many, many years. And they were very prosperous farmers.

And your, your father had given all kinds of things to the Jewish comm...

Yes, he has.

Do you think that's why he did it, he helped you?

I really don't think so. I really think that he was a nice man, he had a conscience. Uh, because there were many, many people, as I mentioned before, that people gave away all kinds of stuff and when they came to 'em for help, they said, who are you. We don't know you. Get out of here. You want us to call the police on you or something like that. So, I really don't believe it was only because he gave him all the stuff. I believe that he was a decent man. There were some, thank God.

And this was the right thing to do.

And this was the right thing to do.

Well that sounds very optimistic.

Yes. So we laid in the wheat. And he did come every other night or so or we'd go there and get some food. And then go back and lay in the wheat. Uh, one incident happened to me while I was laying in the wheat there. I was very fair complected at one time and uh, I guess I had nothing for uh, sun protection and I must have had a sun stroke. And uh, all of a sudden my brother noticed that I don't move and I don't talk. He talked to me and I wouldn't answer him. And uh, he got scared. I mean, he could hear me breathing. But that's about it. So, when nightfall came, he ran to Mr. Yerushka and told him, he says, "You know," he says, "I don't know what happened to my brother. He's, he's look like unconscious. He doesn't talk, he doesn't move. He lays there like. He lays there like he's dead, but he's breathing." So Mr. Yerushka told him, he says, "I believe most likely he must have had too much sun. He must have a sun stroke." He says, "Here's a little milk," he says, "we'll mix it with honey." He says, "Open his mouth," he says, "and try to pour it in." And that what he did and that revived me.

Like a baby he fed you?

That's right.

When you heard that the ghetto had been liquidated, did anything go through your mind?

Sure. I'm sure things went through my mind. What happened to my mom, what happened to my dad, what happened to my sister.

Do you remember how you felt?

Uh, I felt lonely, fearful. [pause] Thankful maybe, that I had an older brother next to me, because uh, if it wouldn't be for him, I mean, I could have never survived.

So you launched into a new segment of this, this experience. Now...

A new segment of uh, hiding, running, trying to trying not to be caught. We were people that were, that were missing. They were always looking for us. That's how we felt.

This is now spring.

No, this was...

Summer, summer.

Yeah, end of summer, '42. And uh, then when they cut the harvest, we couldn't lay in the fields no more. So uh, there was a big, big forest very close by. And Mr. Yerushka told us, he says, "The best thing would be for you guys to get into the forest. Get in as deep as you can. And camp out." And uh, that's what we did. We went...

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