Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Death of Father

It was so terrible. My father was killed in the bed. So uh, tho...those things--but this was in 1939--beginning 1940. My father was killed in the house. One Friday night--we had a store uh, like say--it's hard to explain, you have never been to Europe. Uh, if you tell a story that you made a nice living there it's like a corner at Hudson's. But this was very respected and very nice and we were uh, to give you the, the category where we belong: a little bit above average. So we had a store. This store has been liquidated several times before, there was nothing else. One Friday night--it was probably a Gestapo--it was a slow week--he had probably a couple girls there. He want to come in to buy socks or whatever--something for the girl--on their own came in about twelve o'clock. Uh, it was my mother, me, and my sister and a brother--I had only one brother. My father was already in bed sleeping. It was twelve o'clock midnight. Comes in, "Der alte schläft." You understand what that--German or Yiddish? Like, "The old man's sleeping." The old man was fifty-two years old. And my mother--the oldest sister was a very pretty girl and I was the ugliest in the family and I was the littlest. So she pushed me to go in there to attend him, so he wouldn't do any harm to me or whatever. They wanted so...uh, socks. I said, "We been liquidated, we been taken out the merchandise for a long time." They put in already people--there have been--how do you say ??? in, in uh, in English? We been transferred already from different cities.

Husband: Sent out of state.


Deported already, you know, there's been from one city to another. And the store has been already--and set it with other people. They crowd us, you know, and I said, "There is no merchandise." So while we were sitting, like this, he pressed my fingers. Like I was holding like this, he press it. The lights were out--we had the lights disconnected already, we had no electricity--by candlelight. So they went over to my father, to the bed, "Der alte schläft," it's like "The old man is sleeping." And I don't know what they did to him, probably--they killed him. He was still there for about two weeks after, but he never got out of bed 'til he died. This was 1940, you know, Simcha Torah--the night of Simcha Torah, he died.

Was he shot or strangled?

No, pro...I don't know what they did to him.


Beaten--the lungs or the heart or whatever. He was still ??? for about uh, another two, three weeks.

He was what?

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