Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Mondry - June 15, 22, 29 & July 13, 1992

Traveling Between Ghettos

So you would leave Mlawa. There was already a ghetto in Mlawa. You would leave the ghetto in Mlawa and go to Warsaw and then come back? How did you get out of the ghetto? Was it dangerous to leave the ghetto?

Yeah, everything was dangerous, but you take chances. It, it, it, uh, uh, like going to Detroit, same thing. You take chances, you go.

When, when your family was in Warsaw, and you saw people dying in the streets already, when did you realize your father had typhus?

After 1940. See, my father was a very strict religious Jew with a beard. People just die at home. You don't even know whether it was heart attack. Who the hell knows? Anyhow.

But you knew he was sick.

Yeah, he couldn't eat nothing. Yeah, I had a few Polish young, young ladies, you know. They helped me out sometimes, some, some of them. Like, like going through, you know, in Warsaw, you know, you have to go through. Sometimes you couldn't take the train, you know. There was, you had informants, you know, going back--with the pay--to the Germans at the stations, you know.

To see if it would be safe to go?

Yeah. We had to wait through the week. And to go, and to go to Warsaw, you see, it was a gimmick. See, they, they had to post. They, they, what's they call it? The front gate, you know. They had two German Shepherds, you know, in, in a little house. And the safest way to get through in the night, was right to go through to the house, where they got two German Shepherds.

German guards?

German dogs.

But the guards had the dogs?

Yeah. You see, when you get through, you took a chance. When there was snow in the winter. You, you could hear every squeak, you know. Then when we come, the dogs started to bark. You see, the Germans were the change...they change the...and they changed themselves, you know, every two, three hours, every four hour. You know, exactly twelve o'clock, four o'clock. So, they used, they used to leave the place, you know. They used to meet them halfway, you know. So they left the place. So we hide. I hide myself. I was afraid of the dog. So I used to take with me, you know, like a, a bone in my hand with meat, with me all the time. I used to throw it, you know. They'd eat it, so they didn't bark, you know. You get right through. You go through right through, to the to the frontiers, to the house.

And that's, that's how you would sneak out of Mlawa?

Yes, I would sneak out from the German side to the Polish side. No, you know, you just got over to the other side. You didn't sneak out. You let them--what's it called? They called it ???. After we are together, we wait until the fishermen come in their little boat and pay them to take you over. Everything paid.

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