Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mrs. Roemerfeld - 1982?

Judenrat in Płońsk

Do you remember, was there any organization in the ghetto, any type of um, you talked about the Judenrat. Do you remember any of the people that were head of the Judenrat?

Yes, it was uh, Romick. That was my father's cousin. But he was not born in Płońsk, he was born in M?awa. That's uh, near the German border. But like I say, because of the size of our town, they shipped all the Jews from the smaller towns into our town.

How did he get to be the head of the Judenrat?

I don't know. I really don't know.

Were there any other members that...

There were uh, a lot of uh, resentment towards it because the Jews didn't like anybody to work with the Germans. And I remember uh, that they were saying, now it's ??? whatever. But uh, they had a different name for it that some Germans must be taking something because the brutality was so great that beyond the human eye, beyond human belief. That's why I have such difficulties telling my story, because uh, it, it is impossible for the human mind to believe the terror that went on. And even if I watch documentaries or movies, to me it seems it's only fiction because it's only part true. The real truth is not really yet brought out because nobody by their right mind could ever believe that a thing like this could have gone on. And nobody in the world did pay attention to it and say, well, we can't help it you know, it's just one of those things.

Did you continue going to school while you were in the ghetto?

No, no.

What was life like for you? How old were you at that time?

Well uh, I was born 1927 so uh, I, I was thirteen or so. And uh, uh, well, twelve. And uh, and we didn't uh, do much of anything. It was just sitting and waiting. And we are not aware of what's going on, on the outside in the world because we didn't have any press. We, we only tried to communicate--I remember my mother her radio and she tried to, you know, shortwave to catch something. But it was just nothing of importance to us. Uh, I remember they were singing a song about Treblinka. In Jewish uh, "Treblinka dort fur jeden Yid es gibt Ort ???." But it was only to me like a song. It wasn't a reality.

That was sung on the radio, on the shortwave.

No, the Jews in the ghetto were singing it. So evidently the older people knew what was going on, but I was not aware or my mother or all in the family around me kept it from me. But uh, I was too young to realize all the political implications that being put on the Jewish population.

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