Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

A Day in the Ghetto

Can you describe a day in the ghetto?


Can you describe a day in the Łódż ghetto?

A day--first of all, you have to go to work.

At what time?

In the morning, like about seven o'clock, you have to walk. Regardless how far it was, was no transportation whatsoever.

You worked within the ghetto?

In the ghetto, yes.


You have to walk.

Must have been a large ghetto of people.

It was very large. It was very large, it was, it was ???. And uh, if you worked you get a pint of soup at work, at work. The morning doesn't mean nothing because you couldn't buy nothing, just the rations what they gave me on those cups. Then when you went home, you have to cook yourself something to eat from that little junk what they, what they gave you.

What did you get? Do you remember?

You get every ten days, you got a--eight days you got a bread of two pounds. Then you got--I, I really can't, can't put that. My mind doesn't want to put that together.


I'm not, you know...

But you remember being hungry.

Yeah, all, all the time. Then you have to go home you cook yourself--everybody was cooking for himself, even brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives if they live together, everybody got his, his separate. It was such a, a cursed area, it was worse than a concentration camp, than a real concentration camp. It was such a terrible.

In other words there was a lot of--people stayed to themselves.

Yeah. You couldn't ask a person what time it is. He would say, "I don't have--I haven't no ??? to answer you what time it is." It was just--and that's the way, if somebody had to survive he will survive everything, you know. I don't give myself credit for nothing for surviving the war because I didn't do nothing to it, you see. I just, I just did what I have to do, what I been forced to do. Just went out from day to day to day to day. So then at that time...

Ex...excuse me, you said you went to work, and then you'd come home at night and...

Yeah, they have to go out and stay in the, in, in, in the--because all the people went to pick up that--what, what you got to gather, you see. So always you have to stay in lines. Like they have today in Poland. You saw in the papers?


Always, that was a, a day to day business to stay in lines to pick up this and pick up this and pick up this ??? like this. Then you went home, then you have to take and cook yourself to eat, you see.


Let the other guy cook for himself and I cook for myself. And then we went to sleep and tomorrow all over again. It was without any purpose, without anything. Then...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn