Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Leaving Ghetto to Find Food

So how did he arrange to get out?

Eh, my father's brother lived eh, on the, next to the barbed wire fence, in the ghetto.

On the edge of the ghetto.

So before the curfew--there was a curfew so now you couldn't walk even in the ghetto--we would go over to my uncle's place, and there stay and look out for the guards marching up and down eh, along the fence. And get a certain time, when both guards were far away--both sides--would sneak out from underneath the fence wire. In this place there was a fence, a wire fence. In other places, was specially built that went into the city, roads that conducted to the Polish side of the ghetto, there were wooden planks, that you couldn't, you had to jump over if you wanted, but it was much more dangerous. And from there, it wasn't far to get out of the town, all in all. It was already eh, eh, mud tracks not eh, not eh, was easier to get out from where my...

And there was a nearby forest, you said?


There was a, a forest nearby.

Yeah. And the moment you left the houses very soon there was a forest, and in the forest eh, was much, of course, safer, and my father also knew the vicinity very well. And we would walk--not on the track road, eh, between the--there was a track road, but about fifty meters, hundred meters inside the forest.

So, a path?


And you would get to--would the villagers see you?

Ursynów was the first one; was some lookouts for the forest.

So when you would get to these villages, what would happen?

We would knock on any one of the, the doors--one of the villagers. By the time we arrived there was already light. The villagers get up early, would tend to the cows and eh, things, and we would be welcomed, and get the breakfast, eat, and eh, offer them something what we brought with us, and from there we would go from one to another and ask if were they were interested in something.

To non-Jews?


The non-Jews.

Yeah, non-Jews. All non-Jews. And at place, would ask to get something, like a chicken, a chicken, eggs, eh, potatoes eh, meal. Whatever we could get.

Was there a place that you would stay? That you could count on?

Yes, I told you. Any one but, not in their house. We would, would go and stay in the, in the barn. Usually would stay there 'til--while--would stay a few days in the village, would sleep in one of the barns. On the way back also, we would go to one of the last houses of the village, stay in the barn till about eh, twelve, one o'clock in the morning, and then start back so that we could reach the ghetto before eh, light came out.

So there's no--there was no particular, single family that you...

No, no, no. We were free in every one of them, in the both villages.

Wasn't that dangerous for the, for the Poles?

Was for them also, yeah, course it was but they accepted that. They knew us for many, many years and eh, we were accepted there, and welcomed there.

And yet you said when the Germans came in, and they--the, the gesture across the neck--you said the, the Poles laughed.

Those were in Głowaczów.

In Głowaczów.

Those were the Poles in Głowaczów.

So, there was a difference between the villagers...

Oh yes. Of course, there was.

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