Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mrs. Roemerfeld - 1982?

Outbreak of War II

I see, um. Do you remember the thoughts that you had when you were, when you heard that it was a war and there was a bombing, the thoughts--the things that your parents may have told you at that time?

Yes, I felt it immediately uh, practically uh, as far as I can recall because my father was arrested. He was arrested for having a business. And uh, receiving uh, uh, the soap, Palmolive soap, which a Jew was not supposed to get any merchandise from a German firm, they called it a German firm. And that was only an excuse to have people being arrested. And uh, he was arrested and he was jailed and they shaved his hair right away. And uh, after awhile, like I said, they were not organized to the extent where they shipped the people right away out to Auschwitz. So uh, they released him for a short while, because a cousin of his, which was uh, from a different little town came into our town uh, worked with the Judenrat, uh...


...rat, right. And he got him uh, released for awhile. And uh, he was home for awhile. But then after the ghetto closed uh, we had every Sunday meetings, like bloody Sundays. We were...we had to come out of the house and gather all the people in one place...and watch how some people dig their own grave and being shot. And they picked out from those this one, that one, and it was no excuse why. And we could see the blood coming out from the grave, people who were still alive. And that happened every Sunday. But my father had to hide in the basement because he was known as an unwanted man because of this sabotage rule by the Germans, that he was receiving merchandise from a German firm. The last Sunday they must have killed at least three hundred. It was just terrible. And we were going through a gate and we were beaten with a r...rubber stick and I remember I was hiding my mother, covering my mother with my hands, it shouldn't reach her with the stick because my mother was not too healthy. And ever, ever since then I, I have difficulties remember, to remember what happened afterwards. But I know that it didn't take too long, that we were shipped out. We were in one crowd, I remember and we walked to the trains and they pushed us in the trains, me and my brother and my mother and we were traveling, I don't know, it must have been a long time uh, uh, three or four days at least. And when we arrived and I heard--I remember the Germans hollered, "Get out, get out!" in German. And uh, I went out and my mother, I was holding, holding on to my mother's hand and my brother had quite a few suits on. I imagine they must have been aware that we are going to a camp because my mother said, "Put on some more clothes, maybe you can sell it for food. And uh, he was a little shorter than I was and I guess they took him right away, left, which it was--no, left or right--and I was sticking to my mother and a German came up to me and pulled me away from her and I cried. And I was in the right lane and I was trying to get over to the right uh, to the left, and uh, uh, the German came and threw me again and my mother's last words were, "Go, I'll see you in the camp." in Jewish ???. Well, after that...

If we could just backtrack for one moment. Where did your father receive the Palmolive from?

I couldn't tell you that because uh, I was too young and we were getting all kind of merchandise. It must have been from a different town, but the Germans got the records of everything. I'm sorry, I thought I was much stronger, that's what I said.

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