Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Freda Magnus - July 22, 1982

Life Under German Occupation

So you're saying that other Jewish families moved into Łódź?

Oh, yeah, a lot, sure.

Now when you said taken over--it wasn't you took in strange...strangers right?

Yeah, sure. Strange Jewish people in ??? almost.

How did you come by these people? How did you know that they were...

The Jewish, Jewish Federation sent them, sent them in.

Okay so they were...

They would ask for help...

They would go to like a Jewish agency--the federation and they would...

That's for sure, yeah sure. They ???

...and then they would ask you--they would come to your house and say, "Would you take me?"

Sure and you have to help them and after that they start coming Jews from Germany that belonged--that they used to live once in Poland so they send them out and they came to Łódź and they had to lodge with them somewhere. This where it started.

The uh, these, these--the Germans you say came to your house, these families were already there now?

The other family? No, what...

This was later.

No, this was later.

Okay so tell me what happened...

See the first day when they came what happened they took us, they took us on trains. And the trains was going down and down for three days to--and without food, and you know, packed like animals, you know, worse animals because animals stayed protected...

Were you able to keep your st...were you able to keep your belongings with you?

No, like I said, what could we carry? What we carried out. The morning we threw away gold and uh, rings they took off when we came to, you know, to Radegast they called the place ??? they kept us on the floor and a German went around and said, "Whatever you have, you know, diamonds or this, give up," you know. Some people gave it to get a little piece of bread, some people give it up because they been afraid, you know, that they will look after them and they find that they might kill them. So we gave everything up and that's all and then they sent us on those trains and then we didn't have nothing to eat--they didn't give us but on the station, you know, you can't even tell those stories, it's impossible, you know.

I want you to try.

Yeah, I can but I say it's impossible to get it in details. I--when we went on the trains, you know, I was a little girl and I was short and tiny, you know, so I stick out my head through this little window from the train, you know, there was a train for the animals was so little windows there.


I stick out--so the Jewish Federation from Czenstochov, you know, knew that there comes a transport here from Poland--from Łódź I mean, and we have no food or nothing so they organized and they came to the station--to the train station to give--help us out with a little food so I looked out the window and they was handing us bread, water up and I looked and there stand my cousin, you know. And he--oh, he was so surprised and then what I'm doing there and I told him they took us out from the house and where we are going, we didn't know. He gave us all the bread while he could deliver, deliver and give it to the whole, you know, so we had to eat.

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