Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Conditions While in Hiding

Was he also Czech, by the way?

No, he was Ukrainian. There was, there was uh, nice people, all kinds of the Ukrainian or Polish, whatever. It was just a shame there wasn't enough of 'em, but. He was also a wonderful man, wonderful man.

You said the six of you slept in the same room.


You and, you and your brother?

And his uh, he and his wife and two girls. We, we slept, like, on a top of a, a stove that he, underneath was the, you know, we used to heat.

Uh, so Berel...Pol...Pola...

Berel Pola...no, he wasn't with us. No, no, no.

So it was just the two of you.

Just the two of us.

And did, did, did the daughters ever say anything to you? Did you ever talk to them?

They were little girls. And maybe one probably was my age and one younger. Uh, I don't re...recall to have any conversation with them.

His wife?

As soon uh, very little. As soon as morning arrive or we'd go in the barn or in the cellar. And at night we would come out into the--into that little house and they would feed us. It wasn't that much. They didn't have that much to eat either. Very poor. Potato soup, piece of bread. I never saw any butter, I never saw any milk. And the second winter, I told you, already started. And uh, sometimes during that winter a v...very bad incident happened to us. We were in his house, it was already night. And all of a sudden we heard horses and a, a sleigh coming. So naturally he put us into the basement. They came up to the house, they knocked on the door, he came, opened the door. He introduced himself, he says, "I'm a sheriff from this and this village." He says uh, "I understand you're, you're hiding two Jewish boys here." He says, "What? Who told you that? Where do you get?" He says, "Mister," he says, "I have evidence that you have here two Jewish boys, and please bring them out unless you want to get killed, you and your family." So what could he do? He opened up the basement uh, the little potato cellar door and here we are. Came out. And he said, "Look, he says, you know this man?" And he, he brought with him that man that we abandoned. That farmer that we were together with that Berel Polapon.

They caught him too with his daughter.

No. His, them he didn't bother. No, no. He was mad at us why we left him without saying anything to him that we're leaving. And he still wanted to get, naturally, more merchandise from us. So he was peeved that we abandoned him without even saying goodbye. And somehow--I mentioned before that my brother used to tell people where we were and all that. Somehow he found out from, maybe even from this Berel, I don't know who. But he found out where we were. So he came in, this farmer, with the sheriff and when he brought us up, the sheriff told my brother, he says, "Look," he says, "I know that you have merchandise here and here and here." He says, "I want you to go with this gentleman and I want you to bring me this and this and that for two suits for myself and two suits for him to make and this and that." Anyway, he gave him a list, a shopping list. And he says, "I'm staying here with your brother," he says, "if you don't show up, I kill your brother."

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