Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Leon Salomon - June 18, 1990

Liquidation of Kobylnik

Now, how long were you in this town, this was still in Kobylnik?


How long did you stay after your brother had died?

I stayed till the liquidation of this town. The final liquidation.

Which was when?

This was 1942, the day before Yom Kipper, which is our high holidays, something like September, I believe.

And then what?

This was the day that they again went to the Judenrat and they asked we should gather in the middle of town and they gonna take us to a different city which is Mjadel only 20 kilometers from this town. However, prior to that we knew something is happening because a lot of SS people came into town. Had this Judenrat, particular guy who's not alive, acted a little more responsible, a little more thinking, had he gone from house to house and tell those people just run for your life because we had a lot of woods in those areas, I believe a great number of those people would have survived. And reason being, is because I talked to this about to my sisters. I was at that time working at a place where they were building a smoking house, a fishing smoking house, they were smoking fish there. This was supposed to be a house, rather say a building where they were supposed to smoke fish. And I was there doing labor work. When the round-up came, I was round-up there, a friend of mine who is right now living in Israel, he was rounded up too, I understand, he grabbed the rifle out of this policeman, hit him on the head, and of course not knowing how to operate one, he ran away. This guy is alive now, he also was in the partisans and his name is Gordon Hetzel, he lives in Giv'atayim, Israel. When I at that time, when I saw this being rounded up, myself and another guy, went to an attic of this building and there was a hall and we jumped into that hall and we covered ourselves up with a couple of boards, but next to that were sitting laborers, Gentile laborers, and they saw us going in there. And of course when they came up to look for us they were pointing out where we are, we were taken out. I was, I got smacked a couple times, one of those people was a local townspeople and the other was a local policeman. And I was taken to the market. When I came to the market, the whole town of people were there standing and there I met my two sisters. I asked them how did you get here? They told me, the, Shalom, the guy in charge of Judenrat came and he told them to come together in that market, we are going to be taken to Mjadel. From there, we were taken to a building, a public building; it's called Dom Ludovy, which is, used to be a public building if movies came, because there was no standard movies, so they used mobile movies and so on. The towns gathering ??? or some kind of theaters or whatever, this was a public place. And when they took us there, the only fearing we had is they shouldn't burn us alive because we heard already by that time there were atrocities of taking Jewish people to a building and putting it to torch. So we came to this building, this was a day before Yom Kippur, and we stayed there nightfall and guards were surrounding the whole building and they did let out trades people, such as carpenters, shoemakers, bricklayers, and so on, and then also a few people got out, they had gold to buy themselves out. For the majority stayed there in this building. During the daytime we saw those people who were let out, the trades people, were marching with shovels, to a direction of the woods and we knew very well what the function is, what they are doing. In other words, they were preparing graves for the remainder of us. The night fell and I cannot remember any ??? or screaming or crying, although we knew our fate what's going to be tomorrow, nothing drastic was done. This building was heavily guarded by police as well by SS and when came towards morning almost twenty people and among them was I, my two sisters, and others. We went, this was stage and underneath the stage was a cellar. So we went under the cellar and we stayed there until German police flushed us out and I was left there, the last ones left was I, my two sisters, a young boy about 10 years old, and two other guys older than me, but in their early twenties, both of them married. I can remember, like now, my sister, Eva, said to me, "If you are alive," she says, "don't forget," and she asked me to revenge, that was her last words. She says, "never forget and do revenge if you stay alive." So, they were taken out before me, when I was taken out, I was left with the two guys older than me, one boy 10 years old, so we were actually a total of five, I believe. And there were two policemens, local police. One guy said to the guy by the name Kola, he says, "we went to school together, please let me leave."

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