Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Jutkevicz - November 10, 1982

Life in the Ghetto II

Okay, before we, we, we get to the camp experience, do you recall any um, incidences back in the ghetto of resistance, strikes that we hear about?

No, no there was not was a strike. You know, is came to me some from too from Łódź--from the ghetto, and she is too born by some--is not the born from Łódź, you know? They are from around smaller towns and when they liquidated the towns they put the people what they can work, they put in the ghetto, you know, and some people say they not from these towns, they from they big city, from Łódź, you know? So Łódź, you know, born is not much. Why before they put from the smallest towns in Łódź it's, it's very, very much passed away from the hunger, from disease, from everything so they liquidate all over around the smaller towns and put in the ghetto and then these people say they Łódź too, you know? And some people is not Łódź, they just from around but say they, "We Łódź," you know? And to me came one and she say is was something--an incident in 1940 I been not was in ???, you know, it was when they close, we not have to eat some, go to the--how is to say? To the fence and they start to scream, they start to dig, maybe let them out and we want something--like that I mean not was nothing special to the ghetto. I would tell you everybody was happy when they had to eat enough, it was just warm in house. It was always very cold, nothing to eat, we can go out from house from 9 to 5 and then you not can go on the street when you see the shooting. And I was working just by the fence, you know? Our order straw was just by the fence. Somethings came ??? is was the chi...the womans go out and to take the straw, they shoot--they shooting, you know? You not can say nothing. It was sometimes uh, very friendly and they asked you to come and I had to go a couple time too. And we start talk and he, he cried for me, too. He say he's out from his family, he not know what is happened then he say they sending me to and to--what you can say to that when he was crying to me, you know? Some is like--why when they took the straw I have to stay, this one not take too much and the other not have to work, you know? That happens all the--I have to stay and to, and to look and they know me from the staying they told me to come to fence and I go or not go--I have to go and then the commissar from the this call me and talk to me and I say, "What I can do?" He say, "Don't go." I say, "When I will not go they will start the shooting."

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