Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sally Horwitz - June 18, 2007


Did any of you think about running away, running to the forest?

Um, to hide?

To hide or to join the partisans.

They, they gave you away. The--in our area they were the biggest anti-Semites, the biggest of the biggest anti-Semites of all, of, of, of all of Europe. They were vicious. The minute the Germans came in, you know, they, we lived in harmony all these years. The minute they came in it was "Heil Hitler!" The, the, they turned like, they were ready to give you away. What happened um, to the synagogue, it wasn't the Germans who, who burned it. After the Poles put down the, you know, what happened to the synagogue uh, you know, after the war. And they said the Germans did it, bologna we knew the--who did it. He was such a drunkard, he thought it was over with the Germans and uh, he decided to burn the synagogue. You know, he made a big fire and everything was just, just a skeleton then. Um, the, the older Poles were terrified because they weren't used to burn uh, a place of worship and this was the only synagogue we had. But they had bet ha-midrash too. Which were always open day and night. Anybody, people who didn't have a hotel, the only thing a pers...a Jewish traveler had to do was walk in into that bet ha-midrash. There was always somebody taking him home. And um, it, it was uh, you know it, it was a different kind of a life, I mean, why couldn't people do it too, but there more rooms. Over there they, they just make "em, for anybody who was a traveler take "em home for Shabbos dinner. Um, so the bet ha-midrash, I don't remember. Probably was burned, the, the mikvah was close by there and all that stuff. The shochet was there. Um, why I don't know what happened because when I came back I, I didn't want to go there. They told me don't go any place because they'll kill you, just like that. Uh, what happened uh, in "42, I think. Or was it '42--2 close to "43, you know, I am confused with the dates. My sister had to stay and I blanked out, I just blanked out. Um, they took us out, they came, my bubby, thank god, she died a uh, uh, week or two before the, when they took us out of uh, she had ???. And my uncle was able to find a new sheet to have tucked in and buried her in the cemetery. And my mother was able to go with her, meanwhile she uh, she found out that one of the sons died because uh, they, he was beaten up. And uh, don't ask it was just a horror, horror story one after the other. And then uh, they came, the, the church bells were ringing one early, very early in the morning. And screaming, some banging on the doors, "Heraus, heraus! Juden heraus, Juden heraus with guns or with, with the Ukraine's in the black, like uh, outfits and, and the machine guns and the screaming and hitting, oy vey. Um, we all had to meet, it was horrible all, we all had to meet in the uh, in the square, the town square. And then we had to march, where to ???, that's it. "We--you, you're gonna be uh, um, uh, resettled to a, a, a place where it's better." And what I remember, we had to walk because we didn't have a train station in Zwolen. We had to walk to policzna where they have a train station, which was about 12 kilometers. And we had to line up uh, five in a row. And the women we stayed the first time with my mother's friend. You know people got married in the ghetto because tomorrow's gonna be another day. And one of the oldest daughter was married and I never thought of her until I became pregnant, isn't that weird. And she had a big stomach, she probably was ready to deliver. And I remember what she wore, am I talking too much?


She wore her father's trench coat and I think her father's shoes because I think she had swollen feet. And my mother, her mother and some other women made like a circle around her. They shouldn't see her. Because like, we were walking here and they were walking with their guns and uh, trucks um, the, the Germans and the Ukrainians, on both sides of us. The Ukrainians were walking close by with the gun, with the, I don't know what kind of a gun, you know, those heavy things. And most of the Germans and the Nazis were sitting um, armored trucks or whatever they were, I don't know what they were. And um, we were walking five in a row--six, three, three. And one of the girls, they came in from Warsaw, to run away from the Warsaw ghetto. All of sudden she came closer crying because the Ukrainian was talking to her in Polish and he told her, "To bad you're so young because they're gonna make soap out of you." And she didn't know what he was talking about and he, she was telling us this and, and it's crazy. You don't make soap out of people. And meanwhile we're walking and all of sudden we hear the screams in the back. This reminded me, like when the Israelites were walking from Egypt and, and the older people and the disabled people were in the back, and the Philistines attacked them. I can't forget the screams, sometimes they wake me up. Um, the screams of people, especially disabled people. There were a few people who were uh, um, what do we call them here, they uh, not retarded mongolian, whatever you call them. What do you call them here uh, the syndrome the uh, what do they call it when they um, you know, they look a little out of it and they talk a little...

Down, down syndrome.

Down syndrome, thank you. Uh, and they can scream, I mean, the way they cried it, it goes right through you. So they went after those people, they did their own, you know, in Germany. They, then we found out they put "em on buses and, and the father would do, the German father was bringing these disabilities are no use to the Germans. They were just brutal people, they're unbelievable. And, and the older people and they were screaming because they were beating them, they couldn't go, I, I don't know what happened in the back because I wouldn't dare turn around. The screams were following me. So the, the, it was, it was horrible. Um, I don't know how we, how we can live. But anyways, we made it to Garbatka.

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