Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Offen - December 27, 1981

Conditions in Ghetto

No meat.

Not that I can recall. Anytime I remember that we had any meat was, what, what that even my, some of my brothers, maybe my brother Bernie--he was little, little guy then--he would, he was able to get out, to get us somehow easy, he was lit...the little boy--somehow they overlooked him, he was able to get out of the ghetto. And smuggle in a little piece of meat or some piece of butter or some such thing. So we had a little bit of food some, occasionally, very occasionally. Other than that, people were hungry if not starving most of the time.

You had ration cards? Was that how they gave you the food?

I don't recall there was a ration card per se. But somehow food was rationed and I don't remember it. But I also recall, after the first few days when Germans invaded Krakow, they allowed bakeries to start baking bread. And we had to stay in line a whole night in order--and it was already, there was already started getting cold, Polish winters are very cold--it was freezing, a lot of snow--had to stay a whole night in, in line, in front of a bakery in order to be able to get a loaf of bread. And that's how we survived also. Since we have four children, we tried to--each one of us would get in a different line and eh, some of them managed to get the bread at least. Occasionally we would help a family that did not have children. Ah, we, if we, if we had extra bread, sometimes we gave it to a family that had no children. Or there were a lot of elderly people in our, in our uh, apartment house that could not go out at all, that had no one to buy for them. So, no one to stand in line for them. So we would share bread with them too.

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