Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Family Life Before the War

Your mother must have been very worried, being a woman by herself without a husband to take care of her and take care of her family.

We moved in with my grandparents, I had my grandparents they were very old. They lived, they was sixty years married. We had a--they had a, a house and four rooms or whatever it was. So we moved in, in a room, where we--when we had to move, they didn't have to move. They could stay where they were. Then we had an uncle of mine died right before the war, so another aunt moved in there too. So the whole family was together in that same house all, all those years. Then I had another uncle, he died too before the war and he had a wife and three kids and they, and they came walking for hundreds of miles, they came walking home. So the whole family was together in this house.

How many people?

How many people? Two, four, and four is eight and, and three of us is eleven and it was, one room was, was, was living another couple, in a little room--about fifteen people. A house about this size. Maybe--it was not a house, it was like an apartment. And we were there together all the time 'til the end come.

What happened then?

You see, in 1942, then the, not only the news spread what, what the German newspapers from the area, you know, they, they, they started to put in notices, you see, from a few lines that this and town has been Judenrein, in the area, you know.

Has been Judenrein?

Ju...Judenrein means there's no more Jews in there, in, in that town. You see, that means...

Cleaned out.

Cleaned out, yeah. Today this town, tomorrow this town. And we were prepared for--we, we--everybody knew that the day will come because the rumors spread. We knew that was a big ghetto in Łódż.

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