Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helena Manaster - December 9, 1983


Do you remember what it felt at that moment?

It was a little bombing, not too much a lot of commotion in the streets, but I didn't go out. They--was a robbery especially the liquor stores and everything. The German flee like crazy, and uh, Kraków wasn't too much destroyed because the Russian who liberated us, they didn't come from the east, which was natural. They liberated Kraków from the west. They surrounded...

And they moved in?

They moved in. So, of course, there was a joy. It's an unbelievable joy, that was how we--we're happy to be liberated. I started uh, to build a new life. The young people started pouring in from camps whoever survived and people started looking for their relatives. I didn't know if anybody survived from my family. I didn't have any contact. I thought the only place to find out anything was again in Lesko where we all were born but there was unrest after, after the liberation, because the Ukrainian wanted to have a separated ???.


Yeah, country or county something. So, I couldn't go there. I was just walking in Kraków, the streets and looking in people's poor faces and maybe I would recognize somebody or someone would recognize me. And it really happened like this. It was May the 1st, which is a holiday in the communist countries and I was walking the street and somebody--I saw somebody was approaching me, straight to me. He came closer and I recognized it was a cousin, which was the same--was from the same place and he had the same name as my father, Joseph Manaster. He touched me, looked at me, he just couldn't believe it. He thought he saw a ghost. He says, "You are alive? You are here?" And he saw the baby in the blanket, he just couldn't believe it. So we started talking and then he told me, who survived in my family. So, unfortunately, only two brothers and a sister survived.

Can we stop...


...for just a moment?


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