Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rita Rosenzweig - March 24, 1983

Fear of Germans During War

Um, after they had to wear the star, and they start picking them off the street with the star, then people started going out without the star. But I, I, I think that uh, it must have been awfully hard for people like my parents, because uh, not too many people were wealthy, they were all working, you know--they came from Poland not too long ago. And they were all growing some kind of a business, and nobody really had money put aside that much, and then you're not allowed to work? And so really it was, it wasn't as bad as it was in, in Poland, in--because we were not put in ghettos. 'Cause after the first transport when they started picking people up outta their home, people started running away. So uh, a lot of people I met, a couple people when I was um, in the underground in the country, she was as a maid working in a farm, you know, in a, in a--some kind of a castle. You know they had--Belgium had those uh, people um, counts or whatever, you know, with castles, so she was working there. But think it must have been the tremendous fear. As a child I guess I wasn't really aware as much of really what was going on. I really knew that my mother told me, "Well, you're going hiding because you're a Jew. And don't tell anybody you're Jewish."And I--as a matter of fact, I looked Italian at the time, so I really passed more or less for Italian. But you still had the fear because a lotta times you would walk downtown and then the streets were closed up with the Germans, with trucks and machine guns. And they would pick up, you know, men, or whatever see--but so as a child I was still able to um to pass by, 'cause I was wearing those little socks. And, so they really didn't bother stopping me, at the--you know. But it was just heartbreaking, you know, it's--pulled you off the streets, throw you in the truck like an animal, I mean it was just, you know. But I, I tried to stay away from main street. You know, far. But then after I went to the country, so. You didn't see as many German in the country. Mostly you know, concentrated in the town. They had patrols, you know, going, but not as much as uh, in the city.

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