Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]

Hearing of Friends' Bunker

One day, a man came like, you know, like I don't know, a hunter came into the bunker. He heard us talk and he said, "Who are you here?" like he's Slovak. And we told him who we are and he even knew us because he came from that city, you know, where we, where we lived in Dobšina. And he said, "What are you doing here?" So we, so we told him, "You know that we are Jews and we are hiding from the Germans." So, he said "Yes, I know," because in the other valley he knows three, three families that also hiding in a bunker. Their name is Grossman and ??? our friends from that city. So, my father had a beautiful gold watch with a chain what he started gave him. So, he told him, "Listen, if you take this little paper to those Jews there, I give you this watch and this chain, a heavy chain." And he still had dollars, my father, with him. "I give you these dollars. Because, you see, what we are dying already here from hunger and, and, and the cold and if you have a little bit of heart in you so you have to save us." So, my father wrote a, a note to those people and he promised that he will do it.

What is that--how is that going to save you if those people from a bunker come to you? How is that going to save you?

They shouldn't come to us. He asked in that note if we could come there.

And what's that going to do for you? Do they have food in the bunker? Is that it?

So, that was in a real--that was an um, there were all kind of bunkers. Ours was a very primitive one and we had no connections with any people they had.

Oh, okay.

They had and the village people brought them food.

Mm-hm. The Gentiles or Jews?

The Gentiles.

Gentiles ???

Gentiles, yeah. They were, they were playing with their lives and they brought food.


Us, too. If not them, we wouldn't be here.


So, you don't understand Hungarian, but if I live to be a hundred I will always remember those few now, for this, the few words what my father wrote to those people there. He wrote: I um, dear friends, I, I write to you SOS letters from the, from the, the woods of--I don't know whatever he named those woods--if you save us eight people from hunger and, and cold today because maybe tomorrow it will be too late. And this man took this note to these people at night and next day he brought back the answers from this Mr. Grossman. He lives now in, in, in Tel Aviv. He wrote: Dear friends, for tomorrow we are awaiting the Ashkenazis. You know what Ashkenazis means? The Germans. The arrival of the Ashkenazis. But in, in spite of that, we share what we have with, with you and come. So, we picked ourselves up. We looked and we felt and we, we were walking around like people who came from Auschwitz, you know, like, like who doesn't eat for four weeks and who doesn't stand and walk and do. That's why we went out when we had to go out. We--I think it was near to a stream and water we had and I think they found some mushrooms in the woods. That's what we ate and that's what saved our lives. So, we picked ourselves up and he was the leader, this Gentile man, I mean hunter. It was so dark like this cap, what you have. Is it navy blue or is it black?

It's black.

It was so black like this cap when we started and he, he said that he cannot continue this journey because he will never find because it became so dark. And, all of a--we were sitting because we couldn't--we all went back to the bunker because we didn't know how to make ??? And, there came again a miracle. Somehow, the moon came out from behind the clouds and it became so beautiful. It was already snow and it showed us the path to go. You don't have to believe it, but so help me it should be peace in Israel, that's the way it was. Like, like, you know, the, the, uh, uh, like uh, like Moses with the ocean, like it parted? That's how it was exactly and it was like a two, two-and-a-half hour journey and we came there to these people.

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