Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Conditions in Forest

What was it like in the forest?

Uh, first of all, the forest uh, we, we uh, r...met up with the other people that also ran away from our town. Some from uh, neighboring little cities. In fact, one of the men that was on the roof on that little attic with us was there. And naturally they used to sit there and uh, talk quietly. Uh, and uh, we had a lot of bad experiences there too. There was a group of Ukrainians called the Ban...Bandero...Banderowices. They were--they, uh...


Bandits, exactly. A group of bandits. They used to come, not with guns, but with sticks or whatever and whoever had a coat or whatever, that they, they took it off from us. And they would take it away and hit some people. And then we'd have to change our place, not to be in the same place again. Stuff like that. And then we also used to go again to Mr. Yerushka every couple nights or so--not every night, and get some food. In fact, he gave us, we told him that we had some more people with us. So he sent some extra bread. Uh, he was really a good man. And you know he--my brother told them there was some older people there, so he was happy. You know, he felt that maybe they had more experience in life...

And help you...

...and help us.

Was there a bunker in the forest?

No, not in the forest. There was no bunker.

You didn't d...dig anything in the ground?

Not in the forest, no. We were just sitting in thick, thick forest. And sat all day and all night. Sat through rain, through early, early snow. And you asked if we were ever sick or medications. We were never sick. Never had a cold, not that I remember.

Did you ever hear any Germans in the forest?

Uh, no. What c...we experienced in the forest was a lot of uh, they used to come every so often with uh, gu...machine guns and uh, shoot into the forest. They knew there were some Jews hiding there.

You'd heard b...machine guns before.


But they didn't enter into the forest.



No, it was too uh, uh, too big of a job to go look for a few lousy Jews, you know. And uh, there were a few instances, I understand, where people got killed. They were, you know, they got panicky and ran towards the road and they got killed.

All right, let's, let's take a break here and then come back to the forest in a minute.

[interruption in interview]

Let's uh, talk some more about the, the uh, experience in the forest.


Just to review a second. You, you and your brother Anschel, with the help of Mr. Yerushka?


Went into the forest to hide from Germans and also from the Ukrainians.


Um, you were eight...


...at this point.

A little over eight.

As an eight year old, do you remember anything, at night, say. What, what, what went through your mind in the, in the middle of the woods at night?

Not really, Sid. I can't recall of any special uh, I have no memories of what happened while--night. Uh, I used to cuddle up to my brother. I can only remember constantly being scared. That's my main...but otherwise any special uh, memories? No.

There must have been noises in the woods.

Yes. There was noises. We, we got used to it, I guess.

Um, what, what happened after this experience? How long were you there?

In the woods?

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