Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Warsaw Judenrat

Okay. Who was in charge of your ghetto?

Who was in charge of the ghetto?


I think it was the--what was his name? Uh, the eldest. Adam, Adam Czerniaków.

Was there a Judenrat?

Judenrat, yeah, the Judenrat. And he was the head of the Judenrat.

Can you explain the Judenrat?

Well, I didn't know much about it, because, see, I was a foreigner in, in, in Warsaw. Well I'm from a different city, I mean. They look at it like I, I pronounce it like, like foreigners.


Like from, from out, out-of-towners. Naturally, I wasn't uh, too familiar with the, with it, but sometimes we had to go there to, because they were--there was always something missing. Always need some for--some for help. They were giving free meals sometimes, you know. Well, you had to go to the, to the Judenrat, so. But I wasn't, wasn't familiar with their politics. I only know that he commit suicide when he was ordered, when he was ordered to deliver every day a certain amount of Jews for, for deportation.

How did you find out about that?

Well, everybody knew about it.

Okay. It was just something that happened and it went through the ghetto and everyone knew?

Yeah sure, everybody knew about it.


The very same day even when it happened everybody knew.

What was the reaction of everyone in the ghetto?

Well it was--the reaction that everybody was very sad. They figured now, "Now it's the end of us. If he--head of the Judenrat, if he committed suicide, there, what's going to be with us?"

What did you do then--what was your initial reac...and now we know your initial reaction what did you do? What was the next day like?

Nothing, nothing.

What about this?

What is this?

That one...

I can't read that...

I could try to pronounce it? Should I try to pronounce it?

Ordinance policja? Oh, ordinance policja. This...

[interruption in interview]

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