Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002

News of War

Had you heard anything about what was going on in the West to the Jews?

Yes, over there we heard already. We heard, we heard about--we never believed that it's on this magnitude. That it's so--on such a huge proportion. But...

What about concentration camps? Did you hear about that too?

Uh, I personally don't recall hearing any, any--we just knew that the Germans are brutal. Uh, we knew that they uh, that they uh, killed prisoners, soldiers. Uh.

Prisoners of war.

Prisoners of war. Uh, that they killed civilians.

Did you see any newspapers?

Uh, I couldn't read.

You couldn't read.

I couldn't read. But there, there was newspapers over there, there was a new...some kind of a newspaper, but.

Did anybody discuss it in your house, what was going on?

Yes. Oh people were talking all the time. They were talking and everybody was hoping to, to see a end of it.

So how long were you in Bodaibo?

In Bodaibo we must have be 'til, 'til around '44--'43--'44, something like that. And uh, what was I going to say. Right away uh, when they came up with that deal to accept Russian citizenship--well, a lot of people refused. And if you refused to accept the citizenship you were considered uh, anti-establishment, a traitor. And they actually arrested a lot of people and, uh...

Not smart to turn citizenship down ???.

But then again, there were a lot of people that did accept citizenship, which I believe it was a fatal mistake because they were left behind.

In Siberia.

In Siberia. Because later on, when--if you, you heard about you know, you know the history. When, there was a Polish government created in exile.


Yeah. Now this government claimed their citizens, even before the war was over. Before Poland was liberated. They claimed their citizens. It looks like they notified the Russian authorities and they told them, look, we know that you have our citizens, which it meant us.

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