Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999

Soviet Occupation

So when the Russians came in, in 1939, do you remember...

I don't remember any significant thing from it.

So was it uh, uh, was the town full of soldiers at first.

Definitely it was full of soldiers and there were even some, I understand there were some Russian Jews came along afterwards. And uh, uh, my father used to inquire how life is under uh, the Russian uh, domain. And, oh, he said, "In Russia everything is wonderful." He says, "We have wooden floors and we eat bacon." He says, "drink coffee. Things are just wonderful." And, uh...

And did he believe them?

Well, when he heard what he said he already saw what the thing is. That if that was the wonderful part of eating bacon and having coffee.

What um, so he gave up his business or they took his business.

They took it, yes. In a nice way. They said please hand over the keys.

They did. Uh, was he upset, was he...

Yes, oh definitely, I'm sure he was upset. I mean, I could feel--I could understand how I would feel when I own my business and somebody would come over to me and ask me, hey, hand me over your keys. I mean...

Do you remember any conversations in the house?

I don't.


I do not remember.

What, what did they then give him to do?

He worked, he, he became some kind of a, a office work in a hospital. My father somehow had some experience in pharmacy. I don't know if he was a finished pharmacist. I know he never practiced it on his own. Uh, but he had experience. And it could be he might have had a degree. I don't know how much it took them to have a degree in it. But he worked in a hospital and, you know, he used to get paid. And that was it. And we lived. I mean, this life we could have got used to, I mean, you know, like, uh...

So, there was no appreciable change do you think, or...

Eh, not uh, maybe to him, to, to his, you know, from being a very successful businessman and taking away what you worked for all your life. Uh, I'm sure he didn't have a good feeling inside. But, still uh, he already heard, I'm sure, what was happened to, in other parts of the country where the Germans came in. And it was a lot better by us than where Germans were.

What do you think he had heard?

Pardon me?

What do you think he had heard?

Uh, I'm sure he heard what the Germans started to do in the other part of Poland and in Germany. I know we had a radio and they used to listen to the radio all the time. But whatever he heard, I'm sure he didn't believe enough. Uh, we, we, nobody believed uh, that the Germans would come in, in every village and every little city and do the things that they did. Because if they--if, if he would have believed it all, I think somehow we would have ran away with the Russians.

Do you think he'd heard what was going on in Germany?

I'm sure he did. I'm sure he did.

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