Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Ukrainian Policeman

In the woods.

Well, let's say approximately uh, they cut harvest probably September, probably the beginning of September--October. Uh, one incident I want to tell you about in the wo...when we were in the woods is one. As I told you, we used to go every so often to get food. And one night we were crossing the main--we had to cross a main highway and that--to get to, you know. And as we were crossing the highway, there was a Ukrainian policeman on a bicycle with, with a rifle on his shoulders. And he stopped us. He said, "Where are you coming, from the woods? Are you Jews?" And my brother says, "No, we're not Jews." He says, "Where do you live?" He says, "We live in Osawa." "Do you have any kind of ID?" My brother says "No," he says, "I have it at home." He says, "Where are you coming from?" He says, "We're coming from a little party," this was a Sunday night and then it was a custom, they had little get togethers, the Ukrainians, on Sunday nights. So my brother says, "That's where we're coming from, we were at a friend's house at a gathering." He says, "What are you doing with that little kid?" He says, "Well, my parents were away so I had to take him with me." He says, "Are you sure you're not Jewish?" He says, "Positive. We're not Jewish." And he let us go. Uh, it was strictly uh, uh, it was meant for us to live.

Why do you think he let you go?

I think, mainly, I think he probably was scared. He probably realized that there are Jews in the woods, he was afraid maybe somebody else--three, four, five are going to come out and jump him. Maybe somebody come out with a rifle too. I think it was the circumstances that made him--he didn't want to start, because he was alone, even though he had a rifle.

So he, he left?

He left.

And you're standing there with your brother.

We crossed the road and continued.

Did you say anything to each other? Did you, do you remember any conversation after that?

My brother might have said something, he says, "Now, you see? He says, "We just, we, we were just far, we were this far away from being killed." But you know what, I don't know. It didn't phase me, I don't think.

Why do you think?


Why do you think it didn't phase you?

I don't know. Maybe because of what I already went through in that one year. Uh, I don't know. I wish I could tell you. It just didn't phase me. Just continued on.

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