Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sigmund Rubin - January 12, 1982


We prepared ourselves with the civil defense, you know, because there were rumors that the Germans will come in. They, before they'll come they'll throw gas bombs, you know. We had all kind of things uh, things prepared. We taped our windows and uh, everything we could do. We got up one morning--actually, you know, it took, it took no time that the Germans, we heard that the Germans are closing by.

How did your, how did your family respond when, when they knew the war was...

We were terrified, we were terrified, we were terrified, it was terrible. Especially, you know, we knew what uh, what Hitler stood for. A lot of German Jews came from Germany to Poland in the early uh, uh, 1939, they started to come in 1938 as a matter of fact. A lot of German Jews and they told us what's going on. It was, we were afraid. There was nothing you could do about it.

Did you have any kind of options at all?

At that time, no, not anymore. You couldn't go no place. At least we didn't... I, I don't, we didn't try to go. I don't know if anyone could get anyplace. Get out of it.

So the Germans then came and took over. How, how did you, when the Germans first came into the town...

I wasn't there. I wasn't in Łódź. You see, I told you I went to Warsaw. Did I tell you that? Yeah, I told you. Yeah, I went to Warsaw. And left, we left the women at home. See, my wife, uh, mine mother, younger sister and my older sister. My older sister was pregnant. She was due any day. As a matter of fact, when the Germans came in, my mother went to get a mohel, you know, to circumcise the baby and he wouldn't come. So she disguised herself, she ra...she uh, uh, she bundled, bundled the baby up and went to the mohel by herself. Can you imagine this feeling? She went by herself with the baby to circumcise it, to make sure that he's going to be a Jew?

All by herself in the streets.

Risking, yeah, all by herself. My sister wasn't in a position to go. This is how it went.

Ok, so very briefly uh, you went to Warsaw.

We went to Warsaw. In Warsaw we stayed about three weeks. You know, it's a funny thing, we were so horrified that we didn't even think. You know, the minute we walked out from Łódź...We walked, we didn't go by train or by any means of communication, we walked. As soon we got out of the uh, from the, on the outskirts of Łódź, the German air force went sud...went down with machine guns. They killed a lot of people at that time. And all the way to Warsaw they were constantly shooting on us. We were lucky.

How old were you?

Twenty. My younger brother was uh, uh, 20, he was 18. Seventeen already or so.

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