Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]

Facing Restrictions

Not many people left that little town for vacations because um, I don't know, they couldn't afford, but we went every single year somewhere. There were little spas there like uh, like um, I don't even know like Palm Springs or Palm Beach here, you know...


These are much nicer there. Yes, those were smaller, but we went every year on vacations. That's why I'm telling you because I want to bring out something how the whole thing started. And one summer, it was in 1940, we went the whole family to a spa--to a summer resort. We didn't stay in a hotel, but we rented a ..


Not in a cabin but uh, like uh, apartment, you know, with two bedrooms or three. We even took our maid. Um, we were three children and my father and mother. Father came for two weeks and then he had to come back because he had to go into work, but we stayed with my mother. And every year we stayed about for four or six weeks when vacation time came this time of the year. And, we were, like, I think, fifteen or sixteen. My sister was a year older; my brother three years younger than I am. And we were happily swimming in a swimming pool one nice afternoon--I don't remember what day it was Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I don't know--and all of a sudden on a loudspeaker we heard a voice, "Everybody who is Jewish should leave the swimming pool." We thought--we were shocked. We were, we were playing volleyball. We were happy like, like youngsters are in a, in a pool, you know, and all of a sudden everybody stopped. We thought it's some kind of like a youngsters make--made a joke or something. It came so suddenly, so unexpectedly and we didn't know. We were just standing there and we had really thought that those ???, you know, whatever, they, they made a joke. And five or ten minutes again, "Whoever is Jewish should leave immediately this swimming pool." So we still didn't go, but we didn't swim any more. The third time we already saw it's not a joke so everybody left. Ninety-five percent were Jewish there, you know, but teenagers. We had boyfriends already, you know, everybody left. And we came out and my parents were just--everybody was just--it was just so unbelievable. We already heard things. We lived in a, in a city where [coughs] it--the Polish borders were so near like from here Windsor. And already that Gda?sk or Danzig some place it started already and, you know, rumors came that the Germans--and also from Vienna Jews came and they were running away because they said that they're already starting to take away their homes and everything so they have to see someplace else, you know, to hide or--but, it, it doesn't hit you. You don't believe it, you know what I mean?


So, that's how we did--somebody said here, somebody said there, but when that happened in the swimming pool there at the little town--the, the summer resort's name was Bardejov. It's still a summer resort.


It's nothing fancy, but it is nice. It's very, very nice. I wish they would have something like that [coughs]. We cooked. My mother cooked. The maid helped. Two or three times we went out. There was a kosher restaurant, but uh, but uh, like that, you know, there were, there were evening entertainers and there was music in the park every afternoon and uh, and um, we played cards and all these things which you do in a summer resort. But, when this happened, we just got so scared. We, we--my father wasn't there any more, he went home. So, we called up and we said that he should come right away because something is fishy, something is starting and we were very scared. So, he came and we had many friends there and everybody was petrified that really something. If somebody there does something like that so they mean business. So, we came home and really things started. I have no idea if you would--I don't know what he will do to me. I don't remember the exact date. It could have been uh, like June, July, August when those things started, you know. But from that time, we didn't have a day we shouldn't have some, sort of, some trouble from the, you know, like persecution. First of all, we started to wear a star, yellow star. [coughs] First, they were yellow bands, I'm sorry, bands, you know. Then that wasn't enough for them that kept--it was about for two or three months. Then, they found out that the stars are more obvious and we had to wear those big yellow ugly stars, you know. We'd rather stay at home like, like to wear them on the streets and uh, like we were so scared we didn't even go--like we were just um, like socializing between the friends in the back of the streets. Like we were not sure what is going on, like, really, something is coming. Like, it was so beautiful and we were still friends with, with the Gentile people. G...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn