Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002


Could you tell me your name please and uh, where you're from?

My name is Alexander Raab and I was born in Jarosław, Poland.

Uh, tell me a little bit about where Jarosław is in Poland.

Well, Jarosław is a city, it's quite nice city. It's right on the river San and uh, I believe it's eastern Poland.

It's Galicia

Years ago they called it Galicia.

So you're a G...you're a Galicianer?

I'm a Galicianer, that's correct.

Um, where--just briefly, where were you during the war?

Well, we started, when the war started uh, we were in Jarosław of course when the, when the Nazis uh, marched in. And uh, af...it must have be around the holidays time, like September, I don't remember exact dates. I was quite young. And uh, we stayed with uh, Germans uh, I would estimate maybe for a few weeks, maybe three weeks, or may...perhaps a month. And then they rounded up all the Jews. They took us out from the homes and they took us in front of the city hall, which it had a, a big huge cobblestone lock. Uh, the farmers used to have a market over there, which they still do. Uh, they round us all up over there, brought us over there, all the Jews from the city. And then they marched us out of the city towards the river San. And of course the, the march was not so pleasant. You know, pushing, shoving, beating. And uh, 'til they brought us up to that river San, which normally used to be a bridge, I remember. There was a, a, a bridge going across that San River. But apparently the bridge was bombed before the Germans marched in. But they had a pontoon bridge. Now on the other side of the river San, were the Russians. So they brought us up to that river and they told us "Run, go." So of course, people were afraid and they were scared and there was beating and shooting and, and uh, people started running across that pontoon bridge until we made it. Luckily we made it to the other side of that river. And we wound up of course, on the Russian side. Over there, there were already Russian soldiers you know, the Russian border patrol. And they were kind of confused. They, they got caught like by a surprise. They didn't know who we are or what we are or what to do with us. But in the meantime, people were afraid of the Russians just as much as they were afraid of the Germans so, they started to scatter around, to run. There were some woods and fields and they run into those woods and fields. And of course, I don't know what happened, but people that didn't run or uh, so my family, we, we, we, we ran to some fields and, and finally we, we decided that we--the best bet would be is to go where my grandfather used to live. And that's a little village called Grudek. In Polish they called it Grudek Yagyelonski. That was Ukraine already. So we managed to, to hire a, a farmer with a horse and buggy and he took us to the village where grandfather used to live. It wasn't very far, it must have been maybe ten, fifteen kilometers. And uh, we wound up in our grandfather's house. Uh, in the grandfather's house because our--when the, when the war broke out and my father realized what's happening and he knew that they--he knew what's, what's happening. So he, he kinda, he, he, he's, he run away. And uh, what we were actually left is my brother, my mother. And we had also a grandmother from my mother's side.

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