Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Return to Poland

Canvas, right.

They opened up the canvas and they looked, there's a little kid under one bench, a young lady under the other bench. Come on out. Took us out and uh, took us into a police headquarters and started again interrogating. Why did you do this? For what reason? And at that age I was smart enough to tell 'em why. I have an aunt in--here and here and I just got through the war and I was left all alone. Why didn't you do it another way? I says, I didn't know, the trucks were going to Poland, I figured I'll go. And they kept me about three days, I believe.

And your brother?

No, my brother was still in Vladimir-Volynsk. Him and another gentleman were going to do it after we got through.

Okay and the, the woman?

The woman was a lady that was a, we knew fr...uh, was from Lutsk. And she was also anxious to get over to Poland. Uh, I really don't know what their main reason was. But she and her brother which was older, also wanted to get over to Poland. I know my reason, because my brother was--they were looking for. This other man I really don't know the reason. But

So three days they kept...


...you in a cell.

Yeah. Me in one cell, her in a different cell. All alone. Again, you know.


Dark. Well not as dark as in the, in the bunker. But, you know, enclosed. Uh, they used to bring me food. Uh, didn't mistreat me by any uh, extent. Only thing they did is uh, uh, uh, as they did in Rozhishche. At midnight they would come and get me, and uh, interrogating.


Questioning. But uh, God forbid, no hitting or you know. Really not. They wanted to know the reason why a little kid would try to do something like this. And I stuck to my story. And they finally let me out. And she and I--at the same time. And we went, this was uh, we went back to, the border was right there someplace. And my brother knew somehow, found out what happened to us. So he didn't try it. And uh, then we went--we started to work on it legally. And he went back to that commi...committee to try to see what's going on. And he found the man--all is uh, b'shert, coincidences. Found a man sitting on that committee to--that made the papers to go, go to Poland, that happened to have lived in Rozhishche at one time. Polish man that knew my father very well. Had some dealings with him, I believe. And my brother told him the whole true story. He says, "I'm here because I ran away. They wanted to draft me in the Russian Army, I have a ten year old brother. I could not leave him after I saved him." And he says, "I need to get out of here as soon as possible." And this man, somehow, got us to go very, very quickly.

You said it was b'shert. We--could you explain what that means.

The word b'shert? Meant to be. That's about the...

That's about right.

It was meant to be. Just like it was meant for us to live. Why? Got to ask somebody about, I guess. Why? A lot of us have that uh, feeling uh, that guilt. Why me and not my sister? Why me, not my parents. And so on and so forth. Why.

Do you feel that way?

Not as bad as some other people that I know. But I have thought about it many times. Definitely have thought about it. What is the how and why? You know, it was all coincidences. That my father was able to sneak me out from the ghetto. Somebody would have noticed us, "Hey, send that kid back." Why was my mother not allowed out? A lot of people went out to work that day. But she happened to have been the one that they didn't let out. And if they would have, maybe our whole family would have survived, as...

You're together again.


You and your brother?

In the meantime uh, my brother also met my present sister-in-law.


In Vl...she is from Vladimir-Volynsk. And she once before came to Rozhishche when we were in--was in our house because our house was like the gathering place of Jews in Rozhishche. She came looking for somebody. And my brother met her and I met her. And I always remember that she was a very, very kind and, I don't know, she sort of hugged me maybe. I don't remember what.

What's her name?

Manya. And I took a liking towards her. Uh, she's a--happens to be a very warm person and uh, I guess that's something I was always missing.

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