Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Praw - May 22, 1983

Fate of Family and Friends

Then the, the next day, they took our people from my town and they took them all to the, to the gas chambers. And me, they took us out the next day, and everybody had to go out from the house, you've probably heard that before, you know, they take everybody out. And uh, God wants me to live, and I should--our generation shouldn't wiped out because I'm only one survivor. And they took me out from the line to the young, to the younger people, this side, one went this side, one went this side. And um, they were chasing us to the factory, who couldn't go too fast they kill on the way you know, and um, and then, it start, you know. This was the first camp that I came in, it was in Starachowice.

Did you have any contact with your family after you left at that particular time? Did you know where they were going?

I couldn't have any contact because uh, they took them to, to the gas chambers the next day, or I don't recall, or a day later, but I think the next day.

They took all of the Jews from your hometown?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Or it just maybe a few what they survived. They took them to clean up the places. And those people were sent later to Sandomierz, that's another town and they have the people there, and some people that I know, they survived. I don't know what camp they were, I never talked to them exactly how they did survive.

How many relatives did you have in um, Opatów at that time?

Um, I had a mother and a grandma, and I had a sister and I have three stepsisters and one brother what they were very clo...I was very close to them. And they lived in Ł&oauml;dź and they were chased--they chased them out from there, so they or I don't recall, if they were chased them out, they chased--the ghetto, they had a ghetto. But they came to our town, and they lived not with us together. I'm a step-mother too, but my mother didn't get along with them. My mother was a good lady, but she just didn't get along with them. So I helped them, and I worked in the factory all the time. And now, whenever I have good things, I always think that God helped me because I helped them. This was the family, and I have two cousins, in the same town. Um, we didn't have more family, just an uncle they killed and they brought him from Sandomierz and then in Starachowice, where we remain, I don't know how long.

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