Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Saul Raimi - July 7, 1982

Outbreak of War

Um, so how old were you when the war broke out?

Fifteen years. Not exactly, I mean, almost fifteen years old.

And how long was the war going on before you were captured?

I uh, when the war started, when the Germans marched in and out of the town... The town was the first one actually to be attacked because this was right ??? right between our little town--I mean, our town and the German uh, western border, eastern Poland. And the Germans marched in up to three uh, days of fighting.


It was September the first. It was uh, September the first, of course, and we were away because the whole city was bombed, not by the airplane but by the shelling from the artillery and tanks. So we came back, our house was completely destroyed, our store was completely destroyed. And we temporarily we lived in our uncle's house which uh, wasn't destroyed luckily and my grandparents too. They lived in the same house.


And, of course, as soon as the Germans marched in, it was a ??? uh, forced labor wasn't forced right away. They need German soldiers and I'm not talking about the Gestapo.


They plundered, steal, beat, killed, hanged, shot people in front of them, whatever they feel like. And forced labor. You could walk down the street and any German could go up to you and told you that you to do this and this, whatever you have necessary to clean his boots, to clean the latrine or the toilet or to do any kind of work anywhere. Of course uh, for the fun of some uh, soldiers would take Jews and just force them on the street, on the concrete to scrub the street with their bare hands. If you've see the movie uh, uh, The Holocaust, if you see The Holocaust in Berlin, that's exactly what we went through.

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