Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

Łódź Ghetto

Did, did your school routine and your religious activities change once the Germans came? What happened then?

Yeah, sure. As soon as the Germans came the, the schools stopped. No, no schools and no cheder no more.

So then, what did you do? Stay home or...

Yeah, I stayed home.

And then what was the next thing that happened?

The next thing uh, I had to uh, help my uncles and the whole family already move in the ghetto, which uh, carry stuff from, excuse me, from the, from the city in the particular, particular place to get, help them move.

How far was the ghetto from where you had been living? Was it close?

No, I was uh, lucky enough, I guess... We, we were living in the same place in the ghetto too.

So, you stayed, stayed in your apartment building?

I stayed in my apartment building in the ghetto too.

But the rest of the family was moved.

The rest of the family moved in.

Did anybody move into your actual apartment?

No, couldn't, couldn't. We had one room. We only had one room, there was eight of us.

Do you remember who was in charge in the ghetto? Was it a, a Judenrat or...

In the uh, Łódź? Yeah, it was uh, yeah. But everything, Rumkowski was his name. Rumkovsky was his name, he was the Judenrat Älteste.

And what was he like from what you heard or saw?

Yeah, I, what I saw, what I saw and I read about it. He was uh, at one time, he was uh, uh, administrator from uh, from uh, what you call, the, the ??? kids without parents.


Orphans. So, he was the administrator for orphans before the war. So, a guy, a guy like this should be a goodhearted guy.

Was he?

No, he was a bastard.

What did he do?

What he did uh, uh, he had to do, I imagine, looking back from now, he supplied the Jews. He built a Jewish police uh, for export. He built a Jewish police and, and the Germans were telling him, bring two thousand. And, and uh, he gave the order to the Jewish police to uh, to go ahead and uh, bring two thousand Jews in to this particular place and uh, to ship 'em out. And he should, he should have, he should have killed himself first before he gets order like that because he knew where the Jews are going to.

How did he fix the Jews to turn over to the Germans, do you know?

What do you mean how?

The Germans say they want two thousand Jews. How do you decide which two thousand Jews?

Which? Yeah, I was one, I was one on the list.

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