Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

Leaving for Poland 2

So, how did you get back to Poland?

Uh, very hard, very tough uh, the railroad uh, was going, but the, the bridges were knocked out so, we were going with the railroad uh, half an hour. Then take all the luggages out in a little hand wagon, carry across to the other side of the bridge. Then the railroad would pick us up from the other side little by little.

And you had the money from the house?

Money, it was galore. The city...

Was it Deustchmarks that you had?

I had uh, everything. Gold, dollars, silver, everything. The city, the city of Görlitz is big as the city of Detroit, richer I think than the city of Detroit. And the whole city was empty from people. Not from wealth but the people. The people were scarce, except for the Russian they all uh, left, all hid. The jewelry stores, the uh, showcases and, and safes... Everything was open. You can go in and collect anything you wanted.

So, you did that. Did you see other Jewish...

Yeah. Everybody did it. I was crazy enough. I was running the... What's it called? Tramway, you know, the railroad, you know, the uh, subway, not the subway.


Streetcars. I was running the streetcars back and forth, you know, just crazy.

You were running the streetcar?

Yeah, yeah. Me and another guy. Yet the other guy from Łódź he knew how to run it because he was running the streetcar in the ghetto.


So, we would jumped around, taking a streetcar back and forth, go out, change the tracks, go in different directions.

You were doing it for fun.

For fun.

You didn't collect money from people.

There was no people.

Yeah, it was...

It was a city as big as Detroit.

And you had it to yourself all this time.

Almost. Yeah.

And the Russians didn't tell you to get out?

No, nothing. They, the only thing they said is uh, when you are rested up ??? go home.

Okay, so they treated you okay.

Yeah, they, they uh, they treated uh, the Russians treated us good uh, you could even collect food, if you wanted to uh, you know. They had an army kitchen and uh, there was a bulletin silverware. Come over there, you get bread and meat and soup everyday. But nobody went to get it because we had uh, plenty of food.

What happened when you got back to Poland?

Uh, on the way, on the way back it was terrible. We got robbed three or four times by the Russians. They took away everything uh, you know, I thought I was wealthy. And they took away little by little. By the time you get to Poland I got nothing.

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