Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

The Russians

How... Did anybody else join the three of you in that house?

The, uh... Not at first, but then a little later on uh, you know, we had a, a lady, one of the Jewish girls. Uh, the Jewish girls were, were scared of the Russian. We were, we were, uh... The, the Jewish girls lived in camps still. They were scared to wander out because of the Russians.

Were the Russians...

They were rape... they were raping them.

in town then?


The Russians were raping the women. AH : Yeah, in the street.

Mhm. Did you see it happen?

No, I didn't want to see them. But, uh...

But that's what was happening.

Yeah. I saw a, I saw a bunch of Russians all around and a girl on the floor and they were saying ??? come here, you know, and I didn't want to go close to them.

So, how did this girl find you fellows?

This uh, this barber uh, he was saying, here, we got all that food in the house and uh, we didn't know how to cook it and how to prepare it and stuff like that. So, he's gonna talk a lady into it and to come, you know, we don't want German food, we want lox and soup, chicken soup. You know, we want our stuff. So, so she agreed. We had, we had lots of trouble with that lady too, uh...

What was the barber's name, do you remember?

Dunker. The last name was Dunker.


First name, uh... He had hard times in Germany after the war. I helped him a lot after the war.

And the girl, was she Polish?

She was, yeah, she was uh, from Poland, but not from my city. She was, she must have been from Kraków uh, from that uh, neighborhood. That kinda...

What uh, what kind... When you say from that neighborhood, you mean.

You know, it's not from Łódź. It's about five hundred miles uh, from Łódź, so she talked a little different than we did.

What kind of trouble did she give you? You said she turned out to be trouble.

Yeah, it turned out to be trouble because of the, uh... We had, we had a uh, we befriended a, a, a uh, Russian soldier because we had a lot of whiskey and they like whiskey, so we, we played cards with him and, uh... The reason for that is uh, uh, he had a gun, so we wanted uh, to be protected in case some hidden German anyplace. So, we invited him to come and drink and eat with us and stuff. And uh, and one day he uh, he, he saw the lady cooking and he wanted to rape her.

Did he?


No, so was there a fight or something?

Yeah, yeah. He chasing her, chasing all over the place 'til uh, it was my brother, I think, he went over to the window and hollered down uh, "Go and see the commandant!" in Yiddish really. But the only thing he uh, he heard is commandant, so he picked himself up and left.

Did you ever see him again?

No, he was a, a ??? he couldn't even write or read Russian. He was a different ??? LB So, what happened after that? The Russian left and it was the three of you again?

Yeah, three of, three of us and we lived there uh, life of Riley for about five weeks, six weeks.

And then what happened?

Then uh, this barber, he looked out for us uh, we should... because...

Was he older?

Yeah, he was older. And he looked out for us not to get sick like uh, after heavy meal we had to eat blueberry preserves, for example, so you wouldn't digest stuff like that. So, after awhile we got all okay, which other people got really sick uh, but uh, thanks to him, I think, we were, we stayed healthy.

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