Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Hiding in Bunker

So you think that this went on for September, October.

Yes and then it got cold. When it got cold we didn't know what we--we couldn't. The winters in for...in the early forties in our part of the country, there was terribly cold, maybe twenty below zero or more. And you couldn't exist in the woods. You'd freeze to death. So my brother and another man that was also in the woods with a little girl about my age. And I think that Mr. Yerushka also helped. And they dug out a bunker in the field. Not in the forest. Outside the forest on a, on a empty field. They dug out a bunker with a, I don't know how long it took 'em to do it. I, I really don't know. I mean, I'm just, I know what they did, but how long it took them. It took three nights, four nights, five nights. Anyway, they finished up this bunker. And my brother and myself and this man with the little girl stayed in that bunker.

D...explain the, the, the bunker to me.

Explain? A, a hole in the ground. Pitch black.

And when you went into the bunker, did you cover it up?



With, I think they, there was a little wooden door and something on top to camouflage it. You know, like, I don't know. It was camouflaged. This I know, it was just a--and maybe covered it with a little soil. I don't know.

And can you estimate how long it was and how wide it was?

It was just uh, uh, enough to sit in. You couldn't get up in there.

You couldn't stand in it.

No. Sitting. And there was just enough room for the four of us.

So you would get in--what, you would jump in?



My brother would go in and he would catch me. And he, same with the other man and his girl--his little girl. And we sat there all day long, not realizing there was any kind of sunlight. We didn't know that the sun exists. That there was some--filthy, dirty, full of lice. At night we used to get out and shake off the lice of us. The frost would kill 'em 'til the next--'til we go down again and do the same thing over again. And also go again, every so often to Mr. Yerushka and get food.

What if in the middle of the day somebody needed to urinate or....

Right there.

Right there, in the bunker? And the smells of the bunker must have been...

Very bad, very bad.

And lice carry disease, don't they?

I'm sure they do.

And so did anyone get sick in the bunker?



Terrible. I--that's what made me, I'm very claustrophobic today. And I believe, I attribute it to that bunker naturally. Constantly in the dark, constantly in the dark. This, uh, uh, this memory I--it stands out in my mind very much.

This is the, this is the center then of the surv...of your survival experience. This memory of the lice...

Yes. It stands out very much. The, the bunker, the forest.

You were claustrophobic then too? Where--what did you do in it, when...

Was I claustro...then I was nothing, Sid. I was like a piece of flesh. That's--from that I became claustrophobic, I believe. But then, I knew I had to be there. Did not complain. Did not uh, say to my brother, I can't stand it.

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