Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Lupian - 2007

Living with the Partisans

So, one time, one time, she met a group of people--Jew people, old people--who make a fire and they cook borsht. You know what borsht?

Borsht

Borsht. It smells so good, it smells so beautiful, you know. So, they say, "Come here, eat with us." They gave us, you know, plate of something, plate of real borsht. That first time people thought of us, they help us, they give us a hand. My mom, my mom so suffer from everything and one time, they say uh, after that, when she go further, they say, "You steal my cow. You steal my cow. I know that." And she said, "Which cow? I don't know which cows." And they also want kill her. I, I... Forest was terrible. Nobody want accept her. Uh, for reason that she was Jew, for reason that she have child, for any reason, nobody wanted. She want to be active uh, because that's no sense to leave anyways, she said. So, nobody accept her uh, but later, later, we were in camp. It was big camp with people who refuse, refugees. I don't know...

Mm-hm.

...they ran out.

Refugees.

Uh, many people and we lived with them and every time um, airplanes from Red Army--our Russian territory--they, they fly about camp and in big microphone, in microphone, they say loudly, "People go in this direction. Don't go to the west or don't go on east--I don't remember what they said--but go straight and because uh, Germans follow you. So go fast." And people start to run, you know, like starting run and they heard that voices and dogs behind them and they were... They run, run, run, run until some survive, but they... Germans start to kill, shoot them and one bullet uh, reach my mom's uh, pot, metal pot, but she, she cooked something in pot. And that bullet was straight in her bowl, in her back. So, she survived.

Saved her life.

Saved her life, yeah. And before, before, I say to my mom, "Mom, why you need this pot, it's so heavy. Drop it. Leave it here ???" She, she, "What I will cook for you?" she said. So, that's... That I remember very good.


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