Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982


Of ???, we had a raid, yeah.

Husband: Search, search.

There was, you know, this was going on from the very first time that they picked up people--young people especially sent out to forced camps--forced uh, labor camps. We were fortunate from our family. I had only one brother and this married sister lived in a different city, that we stayed 'til they started off Judenrein, which it started off 1942. And you know what Judenrein means? Have you ever heard this expression? This is German. Cleaning of Jews--they called it Judenrein--they wanted to make the cities clean of Jews. "Juden" is a Jew and "Rein" is clean. We had the first Judenrein and like around our Jewish holiday it's like September. It started off in September. So I had the youngest sister--was a little girl. My mother--we didn't know it was going to be like for never to come back. So my mother gave away whatever she had--some covers, and whatever she had stuff because was scarce, even for the non-Jews, to get clothes, to get uh, bed uh, beddings of--she gave it away to a non...to a non-Jew, someone in, in the--like on a farm to take her--to keep her, to keep her there. We thought--turn it off the heat because I'm getting too hot too--to take her away like to keep her until maybe the war will be over. We didn't know it's going to be like forever. So she took her in and kept her. And my--her neighbors, as her daughter's unmarried child for a while, you know. I--my older sister was married. My brother--the young one--he was, he was probably, I don't know, seventeen or eighteen years old. I, I really don't remember. He said, "Don't, don't, don't worry for me, I'll take care of myself." And, and me--and my--the other sister--because we were three sisters--four sisters, one brother--said we going to stay with mo...with mother. And my mother seeing it's getting bad she probably knew better than I--we did. We were too young to understand what was going on. We knew it's very bad, but not quite to that degree. She said, "You young kids, you run, run." "Ma, where should we run?" "Just run." We didn't--I didn't want to leave her. I, I stayed her so close. So she gave me a kiss and threw a trench...so I had a tear. For months, for months it was pouring down here. I felt that heart and I never seen her again. And we wind up somewhere on the roads with more people. Like, we didn't know, we didn't know where we're going, with screaming and hollering and walking. We just didn't know where the eyes were carrying us. Finally we winded up in a city--I've been there before. A small ci...little town, called Żarki.

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