Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Conditions in the Ghetto

Um, what were the conditions like in the ghetto?

Very poor. In a house like this, there could live a family here, a family in this bedroom--three, four families. The conditions, there was no food in...

In other words, one family per room.

One family per room, yeah.

There was no food?

There was very little food. But in the small towns, like, people risked their life all the time, regardless. Especially women, blonde, you know, they, they run out. Because the ghetto was not in Zduńska Wola like in Łódż ghetto. The Łódż ghetto was, was like a jail--like a concentration--like a large concentration camps. Guarded--every, every few yards was a German soldier guarding that place. We had just--people just separated from the city. But outside in the fields you can go as far--if you, if you wanted to risk your life, you know, you get through because they, they didn't close that up. So people went to the villages and people sold out all of their wedding rings. And ev...whatever they have to get something to, to to eat. And they brought it in, they sold it one to the other. You know, that's, that's the way people try to survive for three years.

You were in the ghetto for three years.

Yeah, I worked for the German. If we got paid, he took us off sixty-five percent for taxes. And uh, and we went to work and that's the way, that's--I supported my mother and my sister with that money. We, we, we have--sometimes we got some from the, from the Jewish uh, committees on ra...rations and sometime we have to go out and work for something just, just to survive. And from day to day there was nothing. There was never food in the house for one day or two days, whatever. Just from day to day to survive that was that kind of a struggle.

Were you able to buy food?

Like I'm telling you, from one from the other. If somebody smuggled in something, went out and paid, bought it.

Were you um, was there conflict among the Jews?

Not, not, not in particular, no. We knew that, that something dangerous is in the air, everybody knew.

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