Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sonia Nothman - January 4, 1983

Sister in Łódź

And I went to the train. I don't remember how many hours, maybe two, three hours train. And then, when the ghetto was already there, there was a house near the ghetto, near the fence. There was a taking--a caretaker in the house. And he used to take money and take everybody because...This was nothing, just you push--you saw the German, they go there and you push down the fence and you run off. That's right. And there was a little woman, usually in the night, you know. Oh lots of people. And I remember one Saturday mor...it was a Friday night. And we went over, we paid them. And the woman went and we were already in the ghetto and they probably noticed us. It was a little room and the one down below she came up and they left her there in the room and there was a little chair, I lay down sitting on the chair and closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes I thought I saw three Germans. I closed back my eyes, I said, I thought I dreamed. So they asked me--I already made myself a story in case they catch me that we had a store there in, in, in the ghetto and we have nothing for what to live. I'm here and I have to go to bring something, so. One pushed me, he said, "What, is this yours?" I said, "No." They, they know that I wouldn't--I was young then. I wouldn't be able to do it, so many chickens. So he opened my rucksack and he saw that I have a goose and it's something, if it's dead they would not touch, the Germans. Oh no. They would not, they're afraid. Then I told them, they didn't do nothing. They couldn't go in further because it was the ghetto. And in the morning I went and I remember like now. My grandmother stayed there on Saturday morning and she prayed. And she saw me, she made ???. And I brought... Yeah, but before they closed the ghetto. I have a sister, she used to live there, it was in Łódź in a German section, a beautiful section. So I used to go there. She was much older than me. Matter of fact she passed two years ago. She came from Russia--in Toronto. Yeah, I used to go, I stayed with my grandmother but I used to go there and stay in the line for bread. Yeah, oh it was all kinds, but I was young to walk, what is this, it's nothing. And I stayed in the line, it was a line, it's very long. Over there at least you stayed for a couple hours, you can get two bread, three bread. Yeah, because it wasn't a Jewish ???, a German court. They stayed in front of me, lots of people. So there is always police. Either it was a Pole or a German, he took a girl out from me, she got black hair, she looked like Jews. And he took her out. He said, "Jude out." And I was standing in the back, I said if he would only know how he's mistaken. I'm Jewish but not her. I came home with two bread. I have a coat, I ??? because I didn't want it because they could grab here one bread and when I opened it and my grandma saw me. Bread was worth a fortune then, a fortune. And I went back and forth when the ghetto was--I brought--my aunt had a store ???. What do you call it, uh,... Here they don't have stores like this from underwear and all kinds of linen. And I took home and we sold it and I brought back different things. So I went there for quite a few times. Nobody ever, ever recognized me, never, never. Maybe if I would be older I would understand what it is, maybe I would be afraid. But I wasn't--I didn't care. And then I knew my, my grandmother have nothing to eat and my aunt with a little baby. And at home I brought home so. I went for quite a few, few times. Once I remember I was, uh...Before we enter Łódź uh, the third ??? there is a little town Koluszki. So there is a guy, he took us...Oh, lots of people there. You know, he used to take, I don't remember how much.

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