Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Praw - May 22, 1983

Thoughts on Visiting Opatów and Camps

Can you tell me if you ever returned to Opatów?

I would like to, but I never did. Because the beginning, they kill our people. There, and I know some people from my town they went back and Poles killed them. Uh, and then, a lot of people say oh, you are going to go back. They didn't too much good, you know. I hate to say it, because some of them, they saved our people. Not too many, but some of them, they helped a lot. In fact uh, a Pole wanted to save me, too, but he had a wife, and um, I didn't--he said--but then in this time, they didn't realize what's going to be. He thought I put you in attic, and I'm going to hide you. They thought it was going to last a week or two or three. But I didn't go, you know, and, uh. But a lot of them, they kill our people. I would like to go back, maybe I could see some people, I had a lot of Polish friends, in school. We lived in a Polish neighborhood. And it's nice to see people that you didn't see for so many years. But uh, I don't know, I thought so to go, and then, maybe one day I will go with my kids, you know. I would like to go to Auschwitz to show them in which block I was. If I remember, I think 25 but I mixed up between--if I see the block, if I see where I will probably--they all look alike anyway. But Bergen-Belsen and this mixed me up a little bit. You know, and the numbers, I don't remember.

The community that you talk about that you lived in um, you said you had Polish friends as well as Jewish friends?

A lot more Polish friends, because the neighborhood where I, we lived, it was more Polish. And uh, we were poor, I didn't have books in school, so I had a teacher, she was my neighbor, and I took the books from her, and you know, and she helped me with studies if I didn't get it in school well and I was pretty good in Polish in school, you know.

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