Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Nothman - November 30, 1982

The Kraków-Płaszów Ghetto

But later there was a Jewish--how I would say this--Jewish organization, like a committee. So they went to the committee, "We need a 100, or 200 people or 300 people to work." So they take committee, you know, 1940. In spring they told us all Jews must pack in and go to Kraków-Płaszów. That means across the river, through the bridge, and there was a--and they evacuate all Poles out and they, I would say--Kraków-Płaszów--I would say three miles by two miles square--something, you know. Take a little bit ghetto. So my father one day and we found a nice room and they surrounded it with bags. But my father was a plumber and he worked for the Nazis. What they do they took plumbers and they tell us, "You do this, you do this, you do this." And we got a pass to go out to work. We have a buggies and we work with the Nazis. In the ghettos, only policemen--Polish policemen watched the Jews when they come in. And they checked us. "What you have here?" If they found something they grabbed it--they took it away. They were worse than the, than the German. Because if that--if the police--if you don't give 'em something, you couldn't, you couldn't even uh, go through. But most, most of them--95 percent was bad. They took right away, they didn't ask. And they hit you and, and you, you couldn't do nothing. That--the law was with them. If you complain something there, there was a, a small uh, outpost where the German were there. They brought you there and they, you know, they, they just hit you with that--with a, with a rubber thing or with that leather--with leather thing, thing with lead inside it. So you just didn't fight with them. And they checked us, but always Polish police. The Polish police were standing entrance to the ghetto--there was maybe about four or five entrance to the ghetto. If you want to bring something, what you can bring? Butter maybe, a piece of bread, what you brought in, in Kraków there. Some Poles who want to, want to sell something just to eat. So they took away and uh, you couldn't even fight with them.

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