Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

Outbreak of War

When the war began, how did you become aware of it? How did... Do you remember how, how you first knew that there was a war on, that Poland had been invaded by the Germans?

Yeah, we, we knew the first, we knew, we didn't know there was a war on. We just knew that uh, they're conducting uh, air raids. Uh, the Polish uh, the Polish army conducting uh, maneuvers or something. We didn't know there was a, a war was on.

And then what was the next thing that, that happened in your life that uh, made you more aware that the war was on and things were changing?

When the bombs start falling. They uh, they hit, they hit close to uh, they dropped a bomb close to, to the ??? I heard it, I didn't see it. So uh, then, then everybody was talking about the war and there's a war, no, no maneuvers.

And then what happened next?

Well, next uh, a week later the Germans got into the city.

That quickly they were in.


And when did you first become aware that they were in the city? When did you see the Germans or come in contact with them? If you did.

I didn't, I just, I just saw them, I didn't come in contact with them. I saw, they came in in the yard and they uh, they had their, a pump, water pump. So, they came in and they took the water and washed themselves, I saw them.

This was the um, Wehrmacht?

Yeah, mhm. They came in by trucks. And they came up with trucks in the yard and they had a pump, pumped water and they took some water and washed themselves and stopped.

But they didn't talk to you at that time and you didn't talk to them.

No, no.


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