Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002

Deportation from Jarosław

And you had all crossed the San.

We all crossed the San, without our father. We didn't know where our father was. But when we came to Grudek, to uh, to my grandfather, he apparently was there already.


So we kinda got reunited. And of course uh, grandfather had a, had quite a bit property over there and he gave us a room. And we stayed there. We stayed with him and we didn't know what's gonna happen. In those days the Russians and the Germans became very friendly. And uh, nobody was talking about war and everybody believed that the war is over. It's done. It must have--we stayed with uh, grandfather a few months. Must have been over the winter because uh, in September we left Jarosław was around S...was around holidays, September. And uh, I rem...I, I recall it was already warm, kinda, there was no snow anymore. So it must be spring already. We stayed over the winter. And uh, and there was no problem, we, we just lived with grandfather. Until one day the Russians--the Russian authority, which they were the authority in Grudek, they uh, they put up signs and, and announcement that all the refugees--we were called refu...all the ones that came over from the German side must come to city hall and register. So, of course, uh, everybody obeyed. We went to city hall and we registered. My father registered uh, the kids and the family and all, and from where we came and where we lived and the address on the German side, in Jarosław, you know. And they wrote it all down. And uh, then there was a question which they asked, now would you like to stay here in Grudek, that means in this town where, where my grandfather used to live or would you like to go back home from where you came. Well, of course, everybody figured, I mean, this is a possibility to go back home. And, like I said, people believed the war is over. Of course we would like to go home, get our possessions back, get our home back you know and...So they wrote it down you know, we'd like to go back home. And that was it. And it must have been maybe a week or two later in the middle of the night the knocks, screaming--knocks on the doors. They came and they had the names of my whole family.

This is the Russians.

The Russians, yeah. The, the, the NKVD, I mean, the Russian police came. And they had already trucks parked down below and they round up all those that, all those that registered that they want to go back home. They took us out, they wouldn't let us take nothing with us, just the way you are, get dressed, whatever you put on. Out and on the trucks and they took us to the railroad station. At the railroad station there was a, a, a train with uh, cattle cars, you know. And, and they loaded up those cars with people, the more the better. That uh, really, like sardines, they pushed in women, men, young, old, kids, everybody. And then they closed the door and after an hour or two the train started moving. And nobody know, knew where we going or what's going to happen to us. Our grandfather, they didn't bother him. My grandmother and grandfather they didn't bother because apparently he was a local guy. He, he lived there.

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