Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Freda Magnus - July 22, 1982

Escaping Back to Łódź

Then they took us to Krakow. In Krakow they let us off and also the Jewish Federation in Krakow start to settle us between people--also between Jews. So we got in there also my brother-in-law--my brother's uh, my sister-in-laws--an aunt lived in Krakow and we knew about that and we called them up and she took us in. Me, my father and my brother and we lived there--we stayed there, we stayed there, you know, a couple days and I was very energetic and you know, doing so I said to my mother, and my father, "I'm going back," but there was no transportation, you know? So I left my, my parents and I start smuggling back to, to Poland--to Łódź, I mean.


I start smuggling back to Łódź and in Łódź it so--was very cold. Not, not only the German--the war was winter but that gave us a winter cold, too.

This was...

Same year.

What year was it?

Nineteen thirty-nine. I think was the biggest cold in the whole life because uh, so I was smuggling, you know, painter--a Gentile man with a little wagon, you know, to go from Krakow to Łódź is very far, you know.


And twice smuggling there I think it took me two days, I almost froze there but I came home...

Um, you're all by yourself now?

By myself, I left my family.

How old were you?

I think I was eighteen or nineteen years old--eighteen years, I don't remember. So, I went to the--I, I came home, I found my house with, with uh, a stamp, you know.

Like a push-- like a board or...

No, no, not board.


Yeah, a stamp from the police--from the German police...

A sign.

A sign, yeah, it's locked. So I--and the police had a stand across the street from where we lived because there was a police station. So I went down to there, you know, I knew a lot of stuff--police--Polish police people. I went down and I met the German and I begged them. I said I came--I didn't say I came back from this but I was away when they took away my parents, you know? I don't have where to go and I pleaded they should let me in the house and they let me in the house. They opened say, "Go in." I went into the house and I start--and when I was in the house and I knew what my parents did so I start--I opened again my--the store what we had, you know? And I start making a little business--bought a piece of bread, sold a piece of bread, you know, whatever we could do to make--to keep myself up--to make a living. Then I said I have to bring back my parents because they start talking about closing up the ghetto and they said that you will not be able to go out from the towns.

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