Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sigmund Rubin - January 12, 1982


Well, I had a incident. I went once to a ball game and on the way back a kid, some kids approached me and stuck some Polish kielbasa in my mouth and they said ??? which say, you know, they knew it's, it's, it's not kosher and a Jew wouldn't eat anything like it. That was an incident I personally, you know, had experienced. Then I was in the RTO, is it here? You know, when you are in high school you have some military training?


ROTC, yeah. Uh, it was a national holiday and we went, we took part in the parade at Łódź. And as you know, Jews went to the services to the synagogue, and the Gentiles, of course, went to their church. And all the formation was uptown and from then on the parade went down... downtown, you know. So this was an experience I experienced. After our services we went up to the church uptown to form the parade with the rest of the people. Well, we stood there, we came I believe it was a little bit too early, so we stayed outside the church on the square waiting for the Gentiles to come out of their services. And you wouldn't believe that one kid, "Down with the Jews!" We were in the Polish uniforms, we had rifles, we were a part of the uh, army or whatever it was, you know, and he had the guts to say something like this. We had our banner, of course. And during the parade when it was way uptown; uptown was mostly, the area was mostly populated by Gentiles, so they could smell a Jew from far away, you know. So when we paraded through the street, "Down with the Jews, down with the Jews." This is...this is my experience just prior to the war with anti-Semitism.

Did you uh, did you have any plans? Uh, what were you plans for the future before the war?

I was young, you see, and uh, when the war started I was 20 years old. And in Europe it was, it was practiced that you never made, you didn't make any plans up until you will go through with the service, which was about 22, 23 years of age. I had a girlfriend, not too, not steady and uh, that was about all. I had a nice job and uh, my ambition was to be in that business, I liked it a lot.

Uh, where were you when the war began?

You mean, uh, in, in Łódź.

All right. How did you hear about the war?

Well, about uh, months before there were rumors that the Germans are getting ready to invade Poland, of course. The fact is, when my brother was called to the service--that was in March--and a couple of friends of his who were a little bit older than he was were called to the reserve already, you know. Uh, we, of course, prepared ourselves.

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