Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard Hirsch - June 29, 1982

Joining the Partisans

Everybody had his money. Sometimes we were drinking with the guys. We paid them to buy 'em off that they should--so they made a party, like a music party even all the guys--all the Jews. And you could spend a hundred koruna--they were koruna--to they shouldn't say nothing in case somebody would come. And it worked. It worked, it worked. That was going 'til August '4...'44 it was going like this. That we were free, free walking around in the city. One ti...one day we had a surprise there. What kind of surprise here? There came three Russian guys. They were in the woods too. And they wanted we should make--they wanted we should join them like partisan. We didn't care for this. Not even one cared for this because we figure it's already, must be one day or the other day close that the end, the Russian they're coming. So must be--it's going to be very close. The meantime I forgot to add that we didn't have money to the end. So what we were doing, we were making wooden coals.

Wooden what?

Charcoal. Wooden charcoal.


We were burning wood to make money--in the wood.


From this we kept, from this we kept a life to the end. We didn't had already money. Anyway, let me continue with the story. When the three guys they came to us that they want to make here a group partisan. We couldn't say no because on...when we were to say no, that means or they have to--they going to finish us or we have to get out of the, of the town. So this was going on maybe for two months, three months, with this partisan. Into the end--in a three months there were already two thousand there, partisan. Because in August--or was it later, I cannot exactly remember. In '44 the Slovaks--the army went against the German. I mean, they, they took too long, they were smashed. They couldn't do nothing against the German. So I was my whole time by the partisan maybe for two weeks I was with them, two or three weeks. They--we couldn't be with them because they were showing between us lots of anti-Semitism between--against the Jews.

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