Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Brenda Reiss - June 23, 1983

Life in Łódź Ghetto III

When you were in Łódź, do you remember hearing about a man named ???


Okay. Or Biebow, Biebow?

A German, yeah?


I was so young--I hear from him, from Biebow, yeah. You pronounced it different than I pronounce it. Biebow, I remember. See, you pronounce different and I pronounce different. Why, I don't know.

I know. Or Jacobowitz, Jacobowitz, Jacobowitz?

What he did it--I didn't get an idea.

He was a, the head of the Arbeits ??? the factories--the German.

See I was, I was so young that I, I don't even pay attention to that. I just know Rumkowski and I remember Praszkier. The Jewish people who I know but then they don't go to me. I was too young and I didn't know to, to...

Can you tell me about Praszkier?

Praszkier was a very, very fine man, yeah. Rumkowski's uh, brother-in-law was a fine man, yeah. ???, yeah, he did a lot for people. I think Rumkowski did a lot for people too but you cannot please everybody. There's such a situation when you're hungry you cannot please everybody.

Sure, sure.

Yeah, I know.

How did most people feel when they were in Łódź? How did they feel about Rumkowski?

Well, I kept ???. You cannot please everybody.

Right, right. Did people have any idea what was going to happen?

No. When I come from Kalisz to Łódź ghetto I told them, "You're going to get killed," but they were laughing at me, it's not true. See? And, and then after they recognize when I was in, in jail after ??? when they sent me from Kalisz then, then they said that I was right. Because they sent away groups and groups and groups and they didn't ever come back. They sent away to work and they never showed back. And then they were thinking that I know what I'm talking. I went before through what they went there through. I was through from beginning in 1939 they dragged me all over. Every time and every minute I was in concentration camp, every Sunday three, four hours at the Zählappell for no reason. Just to, you know, suffer and suffer and suffer. And counting, counting--not me--counting, counting. Why you got to count when you got electric wires where you cannot even run away? I would have been afraid to run away without hair, wooden shoes, one dress, bugs on me. Who could took me in even?

Um, was there any uh, did the Jewish community in Łódź--did they set up any schools for the younger children or was there any chance to do anything like that?

This I don't know either. I didn't even know. I was very, very upset, I didn't--I don't even care for nothing. I don't even care. I went to work, home and that--I didn't even care for nothing. No, no. My cousin got a baby; they took her baby away to Auschwitz. And then she got another one--her sister-in-law. It was too, too involved. You didn't even--you just exist and day by day and you know you're not going to be alive anyway.

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