Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982

The Gestapo Begins to Kill Jews

Well, in 1942 around this time of year in the summer time, they came in on a Saturday morning in a Jeep and three or four of what they called the Gestapo people and they always knew where the Jews are praying--where the shul was. And if it wasn't in the shul that they were afraid to be in the synagogue so they had their--made their own prayers in the private home. They always found the places. Somebody always--there was always someone who told them where to find the Jews. So they took out four Jews on a Saturday morning, shot them first in broad daylight and they took off, just like that.


And when we went from one place to the next, from one town to the other, we told the Jews in the other town what happened here, they couldn't even believe it. They said, "Now, why would you tell such a story? Why would they just come in and shoot the Jews for nothing?"

They didn't believe it.

No. So what happened? A week later they came into a different town and did the exactly same thing. And after that it was routine. They came--they could come into the towns and say, "We want so much money." Jewelry or whatever, so, it would save your life. So would save your life--it matter of life--you give him all you got and after they picked up the jewelry they killed you either way--they shot the Jews.


And uh, must be here on June--I think this time of the year they came in. All they only needed was three or four people, they didn't have to bring an army to round up the Jews. But they came in one day and put out a call that they want all the teenagers up to a certain age to assemble in the market place.


And again, they told them that, that--they were so nice, "We gonna take you to work, and you're gonna work and we gonna feed you, we gonna--you gonna be paid and well treated." Nobody thought that--even 1942 nobody thought of anything that they would do things what, what happened.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn