Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Life in the Ghetto

Does the name Jakub Lemberg mean anything to you?

Yeah, yeah he was--that was the Dr. Lemberg, yeah. He was the leader of the Jewish community. He was a very courageous man. First of all, when he come to the city as a young doctor--I don't remember, I had an uncle of mine who was a very good friend of his. And before the war he was the leader of the Zionist organization. He was a very good speaker and a very good medical doctor and he was very respected. And he did nothing to do any harm or to take advantage of his position. He was a very correct man.

He wasn't from uh, the town originally.

No, no, he was from Warsaw. I--he got a family, a son and a daughter, they survived the war. I don't know if they're still alive. His son was uh, mine age, I knew him very well, and his daughter was a little older. And I heard after the war that they were living in Jerusalem. Him, the Germans shot. And then they liquidated the city.

Do you remember seeing him being shot?

No, nobody saw him being shot. They just took him away. That was the end of it. That was in 1940. So they started harassments with arrests. And with all kind, it's impossible to tell. Every day happened something else. People to work and people to camps, and people there and people there. They took people, they disappeared, we didn't know what happened to them.

How did you live? On what food did you have in the ghetto?

A little food we had--people went out and brought in from the Polacks, the money.

Oh, they were allowed to go out?

They were not allowed. They had to risk their lives to get it.

They smuggled.

Yeah, they smuggled out. Some--they had to give the something. They couldn't take all the people and kill them in one day. They got to keep them alive some way.

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