Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sonia Nothman - January 4, 1983

German Occupation

What happened in your own town in Chmielnik after the Germans came in? When did they come in, do you remember when they came in?

I think, in September, I think. September.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The first they came to Poland, yeah.

Do you remember what happened when they...

When they came into our city I wasn't home, see.


When I--later when I came. Oh they made a ghetto by now. And they closed the store. Usually, Thursday, every Thursday the farmers used to come, hundreds of farmers. We have a store and it was...The wheat's up to the ceiling, no? They didn't--they closed it. Because they know it's, uh...They don't want us to do business. And they opened Saturday and they know everybody was religious. So we didn't have somewhere to eat. So me, my brother and my sister, we opened the store. And my father said don't, don't do it. So my brother, I remember, used to say--he's older--said, "I don't want to die, I want to live." My father went in the second room after he came from synagogue, and lay down, he slept. And we bought wheats from the farmers, we got money, bought and sold everything. They thought with this they can uh, you know, we vanished. And then they closed, you know, the store. And they made...We lived in...on the corner of the city and they took all the Jews in a ghetto. They made a ghetto. There are so many incidents, oh. Then we didn't have nothing to do. They made a ghetto by us. I remember everybody used to go, five o'clock you have to close. So then we used to read, and read, read books and books, I remember. That's all that we have to do. Nothing. But then one day, it was summer, they have, give an order, all the young people should come on the...downtown. Like it was a--each small city have a, like uh, it's a--I don't know how you call it here--like downtown, you go...

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