Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Getting Help from Poles

But you, you moved--you went back to the villages, but eventually wound up in a, in a camp?


So, how did that happen?

Well eh, that happened in the...

[interruption in interview]

So eh, you asked how did I end up in a camp? At Pionki ammunitions camp, powder eh, gunpowder camp. Well, while I was in those--roaming around those two villages eh, there were a few cases where Jews were caught uh, by the Germans, and they were shot, and some of the Poles that kept them--that were hiding them, were also punished. Even burn down their house, one of them. So uh, my Polish eh, were--farmers were beginning to be afraid more. And I felt that already this--when I wanted to go and stay with one family, they say, "Maybe you go to the next family, maybe go to somebody else." And I started to feel that they don't want me anymore. And then I remembered that my father had some business dealings in a small village deep in the forest. It was, I don't know, about eh, eight, ten kilometers from the next, from the nearest village, Ursynów, which was near there. And eh, at least once or twice I, I went with my father on the cart when he went there.

What was the name of this village?

Eh, uh, no. I'll have to look it up.

That's okay.

I've got it somewhere.


Eh, so one day I decided it's enough, I'll, I'll go to that village, and eh, it's a very small village, you know, couple eh, fifteen, twenty houses only, as far as I remembered. And eh, I also remembered eh, one of the--a few of the villagers where my father would go in and eh, make transactions with them or whatever. I will go there, and maybe once I get inside the forest, there won't be any Germans, and so on. And that's what I did. I took another few pieces of bread from one of the villagers in Ursynów, and my few belongings that I--which I kept, and started walking to the village. I arrived there, just before, before dusk, but I did not reach villager to go in. I saw one woman, Polish woman, coming out from the forest with a bundle of eh, wood on her back for, for the oven. She looked pleasant, eh, so, when dusk came down, I went into the, eh, yard, and went into the, eh, eh, the nu...the--where they keep the hay...


Barn--their barn. And eh, was--I was so tired I fell asleep, as it was. And--but eh, early in the morning it was cold--was already the end of 1940, 1940 eh, sorry, 1942--end of 1942. And it was very cold and I woke up early, shivering, and the moment I saw a light in the window of the--of that family, I went out, knocked on the door.

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