Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999


Where was he?

He went to a different city. Maybe a hundred kilometers away. Vladimir-Volynsk. And uh, changed his name. He had no documents. It was still wartime. Changed his name to Myatik Zimmering. Got a job, working for the Russian Government as an office worker, some kind. And he was there. And after a few months he sent for me. I was outside. That I remember also very vividly. I was outside watching some kind of Russian parades. The Russians had lots of parades, and. And that intrigued me. And I was standing watching the parade, and I felt somebody bump me on the shoulder. He says uh, "Are you Yankel Gun?" I said, "Yeah." "Come with me." Today a little kid wouldn't go with a stranger, right.

And the war was still on.

Sure, this was uh, but the Russians were occupying. Germans were not in our town. This was under Russia.

Yeah, yeah.

But the war was--sure, the war didn't end 'til May of '45. This was probably, I don't know uh, uh, maybe December of '44, maybe January of '45. I really don't know exact dates. But that general vicinity. And this lady says, "I was sent by your brother and come on get ready." I don't know whether I had no, no possessions to take. I don't know what I took with me to be honest with you. I don't even think I had a toothbrush.

So you joined your brother in Vladimir-Volynsk.

Yeah. Came there. Uh, he lived someplace in a one room. And he used to get uh, little cards to get meals.

Ration cards.

Ration cards. But to a restaurant like, you know. Not to get food and bring home. And whatever he got he split with me. And uh, one incident that happened there was uh, somebody from Rozhishche, a Ukrainian, happened to meet my brother on the street. And he said to him, "Hey, Gun. What are you doing here?" My brother--I don't know what he told him. He, but uh, since he met this guy, he got very, very frightened. Because he was a deserter. War was going on. You know, God forbid if they, if they catch him, they shoot you. And then they ask questions. So he got very, very scared. And even before that, I believe, he got involved to try--they were repat...repatriating uh, Poles, ones that were born in Poland, back into Poland. They could leave the Russian border and get into Poland. But you had to wait, there was some kind of a waiting list. And here he was, you know, kind of worried, you know, if the word gets back that he's--somebody saw him. So he tried to smuggle over to the Polish border without papers. So first he was going to get me and another lady that also wanted to get over. And he would-- there were uh, caravans of Russian trucks going, crossing the border to Russia, to--from Russia to Poland. And I don't know what they were carrying. In fact, the truck I remember was empty or they were going to pick up stuff there to bring back, I really don't know. Anyway, he talked to a Russian soldier and he gave him a couple bottles of vodka. He says, "Why don't you take these two people for me, they have relatives in Poland. Take them over there." They didn't care. So we got into an Army truck. And I went under one bench and this young lady under another bench. And we're on the way to Poland. When we got to the border to cross, the Russians pulled open those uh, the curtains uh, what do you call them on a truck, I can't remember, last time we talked uh, you know, you know what they cover up trucks, Army trucks.



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