Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Konstam - October 25, 1991

Outbreak of War

Do you remember where you were when the war started?

Well uh, I actually uh, was, I hap... I happened to be at home, at home in, in this Ozorkow, it's a small town. We already knew days before what's going on because they already had taken Czechoslovakia. And they were talking about going on Danzig, you know, Gdansk, Danzig. And uh, we knew that it's just any day it's going to happen. So we went home to be with the parents.

Home from where? Where were you?

From Łódź.

Oh you were living in Łódź. Your factory was in Łódź.


Well let me, before we go... How did it happen? Did you just open a factory or take over part of the business, is that what happened?

No, no, I started my own business.

So you weren't with your father in the business then.

No, no. My, my father was in business, before. And then they kind of retired him, you know. So it was, it was, uh... We thought that children can support the parents, you know. And uh, I opened my own business and bought uh, looms and set 'em up, you know, sell the business. Textile factory. Naturally uh, uh, we did some of our own, some others we, we subcontract, you know.

So you left Łódź and went to Ozorkow.


When, days before the war started?

A few days yeah, before that.

And do you remember when you heard about it starting? Was it on the radio?

On the radio all the time, you can listen to Hitler's speeches. We listened to it all the time. We knew. And uh, and then we saw them marching. They bombed all the bridges before that, you know. The fact is, my brother was just uh, he, he was uh, riding uh, in a car uh... Or was it the uh, or was it this uh, commuter... And just under the bridge now, just passed by him and they bombed the bridge, you know.

And what happened?

Well, he uh, he was kinda shook up, but he was not hurt by it. And we knew that any day they're going to be there.

Because it's so close to Germany.

Yeah, so.

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