Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Lupian - 2007

Living with the Partisans 2

So, so in 1943, you were in the woods?

Yeah, yeah.

And how long were you there?

Until, until Red Army comes.

Which was when?

About forty... Forty-four. Short time uh, 1944. We live in, you know, we live in forest uh, people build--it's name ???--people... It's ground, ground houses.



Bunkers, yeah.

Yeah. With small... Sometimes with small windows and sometimes without windows, with uh, uh, to sleep.

Like a grave.

Like a grave. No, it was like um, board. Uh, old board.

And did you sleep in that?

Yeah, yeah. We sleep. We, we were happy to have... to find where to sleep, you know, no way... Yeah, that and uh, and we sleep several people on this, you know, bed... It's not bed--I don't know how to say it--it's board.

A board, yeah.

Board. Yeah, and uh, that we hide from weather, from snow, snow and... So, I somehow survived. People that time were basically stronger. I don't know how, I don't know. It's difficult to...

And how did you find food?

Yeah, food in grass.

Just in...

In grass. And, you know, villages. Whatever, you know. I never forget when, when we came in village. It was uh, when over and we, uh... It was army, Red Army came and I believe, I believe ??? and we start to live in house. It was empty houses, so we, we with mom. And it was uh, it was garden, garden outside and it grow, grow--what it grow?--beans, big beans, bean and we hungry people, we ate. So, somebody came by, "Don't eat! This is police. This is not yours, this is police." And then...


Police, police... Policeman. Just who was in this house with German police. Uh, what this people is--what do you say?--people who, who go to their side?


Collaborators, yeah, it was many, many. No, it was ??? I have pictures ??? Traitors, you know. Um, traitors.

Oh, traitors.

Traitors. Many traitors were... Uh, and when the trait... Soldier from Red Army came in our house and he took me and he said, "Do you want a piece of herring?" I say, "I don't know what is this." So, he gave me from can, a piece of fish. Oh, and I says, "I never eat it." It was unfor... unforgettable taste, you know. It was salty. And I said, "Give me more." And he said, "I cannot. I, I have to give it to other people." And he give me another piece and I...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn