Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002


A tugboat.

Yeah, a tugboat, was, was pushing it and they took us way out there to a place and it was called Sinyuga. And over there they, they took us off that uh, raft and uh, there was nothing there. There was few log cabins and uh, there were some of the local people living over there and which, they were uh, people left over from the Czar, probably, who know, some prisoners from who knows. And there were also local people. Uh, they were called the Mongols.

Sure. So you were deep in...

Deep in Siberia, yeah.

And did they put you in a house?

Well, they, they--I remember there was a, a barrack and they, they put in that barrack, in that barrack they, they, they put a few families. There must have been maybe eight, ten families in the same barrack and everybody grabbed a corner you know, and, and kept his family together. And uh, they used to give us uh, bread ration, I think it was like uh, twenty grams a day, bread.


Yeah, and, and uh, water. You know, what, you used to go to the well and...

Sugar, meat, butter?

No, no, no meat. No sugar, no butter, no, no, no such a thing.

Bread and water.

Bread and water and uh, and there were woods, there were those tremendous woods and uh, they had, in those woods you could go and pick mushrooms in those woods. And you could pick uh, uh, blueberries in those woods. And there were some different kind of fruits and uh, uh, wild fruits. And, of course, there were Russian bears too in those woods. So in, in the summer, and, and we stayed there, we, we stayed uh, must be maybe a year and a half. Because I remembered one winter, the first winter--when the snow came down you couldn't go to the woods, you couldn't pick no mushrooms, you couldn't...It, it was just, the snow was so deep that you could actually--me, being a, a, a young kid, I could drown in the, in the, in the snow. I mean, it would cover me up if you fall down.

Do you remember hearing that the Germans had invaded the Soviet Union?

We--I remember people were talking and--there, there was no newspaper or anything like that, like that over there.

No radio.

There was a local police station and they had like a loudspeaker. You could hear news, what they want you to hear. You could not have a radi...there was no electricity, no, no power, no such a thing. And of course, they took all the men, they took to work. They used to take 'em out in the woods uh, as lumberjack, jacks, you know.

So you didn't hear that the Germans had come in.

We heard that there was a war, but we didn't know what, what's--we didn't know that the Germans are uh, at that time, we didn't hear that the Germans are uh, close to Moscow. We didn't hear, we, we didn't--we knew that there is a war, but we, we really didn't know what's happened.

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