Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002

Return to Poland


Lower, Lower Silesia and uh, the city in the name Swidnica, Swidnica, in German it's Schweidnitz. And, of course, there were Germans living over there still so the relations between the Germans and the, and the Polish population was not that great and uh, everybody can understand that. And, and I, myself, I was pretty, pretty uh, angry. And then the Jews started to organize like in kibbutzim. And we used to live like kinda together because uh, the local...

Were you thinking of going to Israel?

Yes, yes, very much so. And the local population, the Polish population weren't that friendly. As a fact uh, we had to had, we organized ourselves of guard duty, with guns.

Where'd the guns come from?

Oh, you could, you could get, you, you could get a Russian soldier, you gave him a bottle of vodka and he gave you, gave you his uh, his uh, machine gun or whatever.

Who were you angry at?

I was angry. I was angry at--of course, at the Germans. And I was angry also at the Polish population. What brought me to that, that I was already in this age that I could uh, I could compre...I could figure out, I wasn't a child. Although I was quite young, but...I remember one morning we got up and people are talking among themself, "Did you hear, did you hear?" There was a pogrom in Kielce. You heard about. So I thought to myself, pogrom in Kielce. And you know, they killed here and they killed over there. And they were talking about this organization, AK, which means Armia Krajowa, which they were against the Nazis and against Jews and perhaps against themselves more than anything. And uh, when I heard all this thing, because I thought, okay, when we were in Russia, the war is over, everything is going to be forgotten, everything is going to come back, it's going to be Paradise. And here I come and I hear about pogrom in Kielce, I mean, they're killing Jews again! Now they're starting from the beginning? So I thought to myself, no, this--first of all, I realized this is not a country that I can stay and live in. So we joined up like in a kibbutz and uh, my grandmother from the mother's side in the meantime she passed away. And uh, we kinda decided, first thing what we gotta do, we gotta get out from Poland, which we did.

Had there been a Zionist organization in Jarosław before the war?

Yes. As a fact, my father used to belong to Dror. It was a organization in the name Dror, which, if you're familiar with Ha-Shomer Ha-Tsa'ir, that was the organization.

I see, so you're father was a Linke?

Yes, yes, he was a Linke. Well, he was not.

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