Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Kendal - May 25, 1983

Start of War

How--so when the brea...when the war broke out uh, the Germans were attacking--trucks were, were--and motorcycles just came through the farm like day and night. They were just constantly driving towards--I don't know what direction they were going towards, but um, going right through the town. And I, I do remember a terrible incident. Uh, I think it was only about--this was a farm by the way and it's like just one big street and, you know, had field houses on either side. And uh, uh, there was a well where the people would get their water and it was almost kitty corner to where my grandfather's house was at. And uh, when they came through they asked who the Jews were and I don't know for what reason but, they took my grandpa. They came into the house and they took my grandfather out on the street near the well there and I, being a child, looked through the window and nobody--they wouldn't let anybody outside and they were beating him over the, over the face and, and of course we didn't know what they were after or whatever. They really were hitting him hard and then they sent him back into the house. That was the first terrible recollection I have of the Germans and the war. Uh, the Russians were supportive, but the Russians went away. They went through the town, but they were--like a day later the Germans you know came in through then. The convoys were just going through there constantly and um, I don't know if I rec...recollect this or if I just heard it, but um, that we heard that in the city--in Berezne--they were assembling all the Jews and putting them in a ghetto in one part of the city. Uh, then, I don't know, I couldn't give you a time period, whether it was like months, you know, weeks and months or whatever. Um, eventually they started extracting the wealth that I can remember. They said that uh, they went to the rabbi. They said all the people that were--that happened--they stole and they said that unless they stole so much gold and so much money and so on and so forth that some of these people could get killed and of course they would run all over and try to assemble the gold ???. And then they did this a number of times.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn