Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Stefa (Sarah) Sprecher Kupfer - July 24, 1987

Polish Police

Were these Polish police?

Yes. And they questioned us. And they told us, we know that you are Jewish and tell us where you are going, and I denied it. I said I am not Jewish. My name is Stefania Gajewska, name I took from our non-Jewish neighbors' daughter, and we continued walking and they continued asking me and my sister called me by my Jewish name and I kept correcting her with my Polish name and they questioned me and questioned me and finally they pointed to my briefcase that I was carrying and they said that two days before there was a similar incident, they saw a girl looked like me, acted like me, had a briefcase like I have and she had ten kilos of gold in it. Probably, I have the same they said, but I said no, I don't but open up and see it. I had no idea what was in it. But when they opened it, I almost fainted. Because in the briefcase was a whole uncut challa, because it was Shabbat and there was some tomatoes and soap and other things, some food, that Momma packed with us. And this was a dead giveaway because Polish people don't eat challa on Shabbos. But for some reason they ignored it. As long as they didn't find the gold they didn't say anything, and my sister is calling me by my Jewish name and apparently they don't hear it or they don't pay attention to it. Because after awhile, they just let me go. They walked away. They didn't tell me to go. First they threatened if I don't tell them the truth they gonna take me to the police station. I said, yes I would like to go to the police station because they will be able to find my aunt, I'm coming to my aunt and my aunt is supposed to wait for us at the train station and she is not here and I don't know where she lives...and I don't know what to do. And maybe the police can help me. And maybe they got convinced, I don't know. And they walked away. So Nina and I walked around a little bit I thought they were tricking me maybe they will follow me after they watch where we are going. But they didn't. So we started walking toward my aunt's apartment that I knew where it was from the day before when I was there. And when we got there, the house was closed, locked. The landlady wasn't there and it was middle of the day and we went to an outhouse and we sat in an outhouse until the landlady came. It was very hot, it was a very hot day. But we sat there, we were afraid to come out. So then when she came, the landlady came, we came out and she let us into my aunt's apartment and we were hoping that either my aunt or a cousin or somebody will come. Because from time to time they did still kept the apartment while working in the factory and they used to come from time to time. But they didn't show up for a couple of days, so we were all alone and we didn't know, I assume that the woman probably never went back to my mother to tell her what happened with the children, because she probably didn't know, or maybe from far she observed us being questioned, I don't know, but the fact is that she didn't come back, my mother didn't know what happened to us, she was gone day after day to the woman's house and the husband said, "I don't know what happened to my wife, but because of your children, I probably lost her." Later on, Momma said to me, she probably came back but she was hiding out she didn't want to face me, how could she tell me, that she lost my children, she didn't know. So we stayed there, I don't know how many days, a lot of days. Finally, my cousin showed up and my aunt came and said "what am I going to do with you? Okay, stay in the apartment as long as you can, but I don't know, you know, they couldn't take us to the factory, Nina was too young.

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