Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Conditions in the Ghetto

And not enough food?

And not enough food. But, eh...

What about running water? Was there plumbing?

There was plumbing outside. Had to go and bring from the plumb so not, not in the house.

Not in the house.

Not in the house.

Had there been in Głowaczów?

No. Not in Głowaczów. We had a, a well nearby us, and then from there we would...

And there was a latrine outside?


A latrine outside? A latrine...

Latrine? What's a...

A latrine is a type of ...

Ah yes, of course. Outside, outside, yes.

Was there forced labor?

At a certain time, yes. Not in the beginning, but later on they took people. In Głowaczów also, already. They caught people to do all kinds of manual labor for the Germans.

Your father? Did they take your father?


Did they take your father?

No, they eh, they, they didn't catch him. Let's put it like this--because eh, you just picked them up in the road, in the streets. Sometimes they would move into houses and take out people. Eh, not in Głowaczów. Eh, in Kozienice, from there they already took people to labor camps, to factories, to produce, like eh, from Kozienice many people, they were taken--caught and taken to Pionki, where there was a, a, a powder, eh...


Gunpowder factory, on the Polish side, and then now they work for the Germans. And there they caught the, the Jews and brought them in there, and would work for the Pol...for the Germans in that camp, in that uh, there was a--put up--a...a...around the close-up camp of the Jews, the Polish people--there also were many Poles that were there, but they went home after the work. They came in the morning.

So there were barracks.

There were barracks. Yeah, barracks.

Um, you said that almost immediately they started persecuting religious Jews...


Were people being picked up off the streets already? Were they shot? Were people shot in the streets?

I don't remember anybody being shot. I know and remember people being beaten up.

By Germans?

By Germans, yes.

Not by Poles.

Not by Poles. Not that that matters. As I remember...

And what about the Jewish police? When did, when did they become a...

The Jewish police--in Głowaczów there were, there were no Jewish police.

Just in Kozienice.

Only in the ghetto, in Kozienice there were Jewish police.

Did you know any of them?

One of them was my cousin, a cousin of mine. And eh, he was a cousin of mine. Eh, most of them were--tried to do their job eh, under very difficult conditions uh, and also to keep some order, 'cause they were activated by the Jewish committee in the ghetto. And there was people that tried to do things that you couldn't, or you were not allowed, and so...

Obviously terrible circumstances. Um, when you came into the ghetto, how were you--how did you find a place to live?

The co...Jewish committee put us in. They got us to that place and said, "This is your place."

And you were registered with the Jewish committee?

Yes, it was.

And then they put you in an apartment, or whatever?

Yeah. Yes. And they also, they took it from Jews--from other Jews. They moved them. There was a big--there was a family house, they moved them aside to two rooms, and they gave two families another two rooms. That's what they did.

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