Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Lupian - 2007

German Occupation

Well, let me ask you...


Do you remember when the Germans came into, into Minsk?

Yeah, that's what I will tell you. I was five years... before five years. I was born in July seven, 36 and Minsk, Minsk was uh, it was very ??? good summer, good summer and all children were sent to, uh--several of them--in wood, wood, wood area. Children. And I was in like kindergarten. Kindergarten in this time. And so, what I remember it's like stay in my eyes, that some... sometimes the, the uh, our teacher all gather children, come altogether here they start--I don't remember what--but I remember they start us and they sent us in, in trains. It was trains. And they say, "Quickly, quickly, quickly." So, all children go inside the wagon... You know wagon?


Without shoes, without hat, without, you know, like they wear. And I was, you know, I was without dress, without my clothes, that I remember and somebody put not my, you know uh, hat and we moved. Very fast. And it was very uh, cloudy... Not cloudy, crowded, crowded. When we...

In the train.

In the train. Yes. It was several, several wagon. It's right?

Yeah and these are cattle cars.

Hm? Cattle... Yes, yes, yes, yes. It was not nice, you know, comfortable. So, we... It was about uh, two hours from city uh, it was ??? It seems to me it was ??? I don't remember. So, we came in uh, station, train station. And so many people I saw with my, you know, eyes, child's eyes. So many and I recognized my uncle--youngest uncles, he was nineteen years old, nineteen, nineteen--he said my mom, my mom Bella, "She's here, here in the window." It was so many... He came... He jumped because he take me on him and bring me to Mama, Mama. And around to me, you know, it was so many womans and there, "Did you see my... did you see where that my..." and whatever I know I say, but I asked, "Mom, what happened?" That I remember. And uh, she couldn't explain, but she was so happy to find me, but it was late to, late to leave city with me after that. It was late because Germans came in at this time. When I, when I arrived, I see many, many, many, many men ??? in green, green uniforms and high shoes... boots. And I asked Mom, "Who's that people?" And she couldn't explain to me. "Why so many people uh, men?" That I, I really remember this. After that, I, I remember uh, it was command from German. All Jews should go in, in one place, in room with barbed, barbed wire and live there. All uh, families should get together around houses. So, three, four families have to go in one house. Houses was small and, you know, yeah. And in houses, everybody's bringing uh, metal, metal bed. Something to, to sleep, you know. It was so many people in one houses and so many children. It... You know, you can imagine that was, uh... And that I have very good remember.

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