Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Louis Kaye - May 9, 1983


You said they made a ghetto in your town.

Yeah. Make a ghetto from one... They split up the city. One part city was, like we were living this part, I couldn't go to the other part. It goes up, split up halfway. The Gentiles lived separate, where we used to live separate. They split up all together.

How did they split it?

How did... They make a wire. How did they split it? With, with wires and everything, you could not go.

Were you allowed to pass over the wires?

No, it's not allowed to pass over the wire.


No. Only when you go to work with them. And there was watch, you know, like dogs.

So, you had to be back at a certain time?

You go with like a hundred people, come back with the same amount of people, yeah. In nighttime you could not go out after a certain time, you gotta be inside. Like at six o'clock nobody can go out and stuff like... From the beginning it's better. They start out like three months later, two months later out killing people and everything.

Could anybody come into the ghetto?

From where?


Not that I know. Maybe somebody sneak in, not me. More people was killing because of Polacks. If not the Polacks more Jews would be living today. For not the Polish people, most Jews were living today. Eh, what, what they did for, for bread or for anything, they picked you up and they took, show 'em you're Jewish. We don't recognize that you are a Jew, they took you out and shoot you, the Polack. The Polish don't help nothing. If they will help, it will be another hundred thousand Jews living... Not now, I mean in '45. At least a hundred thousand. And any Polack say they helped Jews, they helped maybe one millionth of a per... percent because you have money. Not everybody have money. And after they... Some people they took away their money and they shoot 'em too. Like from my city, I'll tell you how many was uh, left over. Maybe two couples, with a kid, a little kid. A family.

Two couples...

Two couples...

...from your whole town?

No, all together was left over two couples, two brothers, all together maybe eight, nine people hiding from Polacks. From eight hundred families. Left over for the, for the Polish people were hiding, this I'm talking. From my town left over all together maybe thirty people, from eight hundred families left over. Like I got about four or five friends living in New York. In Israel living maybe, I have dozen people, one living in France, one living in Austra... two in Australia, one in Buenos Aires.

Are you in touch with these people?

No, I, I met 'em in '45 when I was going back to Poland and everybody was going different ways. One was going to Australia, one was going to Buenos Aires, a few go to Israel. All together, they left over.

What was it like living in the ghetto? Describe some of the... What was it like?

In the ghetto... It, it was like this. You still was living at home, come seven o'clock in the morning, eight o'clock they come to the houses, pull you out, go to work. If you don't come right away they just beat you up and hit, hit you. You don't know, you know when you're going to work, you didn't know you're coming home. You're lucky I can talk, I don't know why. Maybe after Washington, I give up everything. I could not talk.

You could not talk?

Not... Now I can talk to you. When I make my monument in 1969, I could not talk to the newsman.

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