Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]


That's very good. Yes. You know one question I had is in the beginning you said something to the effect of uh, I don't even want to talk about those goyim over there now 'cause I, you know, have my feelings about them. But yet you have many stories of righteous Gentiles...


...that helped you.

Yes, definitely.

So, there were--actually, there were many, many Gentiles...

Yes, many Gentiles

...that you owe your life to.

Many Gentiles. Most of them were uh, small Hitler's, but many were very good.

Yeah. Okay. And, uh, do you know uh, do you have any uh, uh, have you heard any stories or did you see any evidence of uh, resistance to uh, Nazism to the Germans--resistance in fighting back? How much do you know--how much did you see of incidents of fighting back?

Jews or Gentiles?

Jews fighting back.


Fighting back from Germans, from whatever. Did you--what do you know about resistance?

None. Absolutely none. Couldn't. Could you if a big lion and would come here now? Could you, could--what would you do? Maybe you would run away. That wasn't a good example. But, if uh, ten people would hold guns and they would say uh, uh, "Put your hands up." What would you do? And, ten, ten people here with ten guns and ten people here with ten guns. What would you do? You would put your hands up and you would be shot. What would you do? There was absolutely nothing to do because some smart alecs say that how could you do that? Why did you go to, to Auschwitz? Why didn't you resist? Why didn't you do--so look what happened to the Warsaw Up...Up...Uprising? What happened there? Nothing came out of it. They--I give them credit and, and they suffered but in the end they, they lost because you couldn't uh, you couldn't fight uh, you couldn't fight. If you didn't leave--if, if, now the boys are dying in Israel and its terrible and horrible but at least they are dying as uh, heroes as uh, as soldiers like you supposed to die in a war. If we would be given guns and we would be given chances, we would have fought. We would have fought but we were less than animals. How could you fight things like that?

Did you meet any partisans anywhere in your travels or anything?

Yes, many

Jewish partisans?

Uh, yes, yes.

You did see? So there were some...

Yeah. They, they, they lived in the woods and they tried their best. They did some underground things. We were not familiar with that. We were uh, we were absolutely out of it. I mean, they were young men who escaped and they uh, they did things yes, but uh, as a matter of fa...fact, my best friend's brother died like that, like partisan.


Yes. Yeah, a young boy about nineteen-years-old.

From the experiences that you've lived through, what would you say to the people that say uh, I understand that you didn't have a whole lot to fight back with--that uh, you couldn't fight back, but many people say--many of the young people, of course, who cannot even visualize something like this--they're a little chutzpadik and they say things like uh, "If I was in that circumstance, ??? Shalom, and I was in a concentration camp"--and I realize you weren't in a concentration camp--"if I was going to get killed already--I knew I was going to get killed, I would rather get killed running toward a German with my fist clenched than just waiting on the edge of a pit to be shot." Would you say anything to those people?

There are all kinds of circumstances. You--they were every...everybody who was saved has his own story. You couldn't generalize it. I couldn't tell anybody--you see um, you see my story?


The next door neighbor who was saved has another story. Uh, what I would say to a person that, that should fight back? They should at least uh, fight back with their fists?

Even if they know they are going to die, for example...


...that a person's--many of the people say--especially the young generation--say that, "I would rather die running toward a German than standing on the edge of the pit waiting to be shot."

Then what they should do? I really don't understand your question.

Okay, what would you say to them? Do you think that that is valid complaint? Do you think that they have a right a say that?

That they would rather die?

They would rather die running toward a German than standing on the edge of the pit waiting to be shot. Do you think that they--do you think that is a valid statement?

Well, what is the difference how you die? You will die running to that soldier, the German soldier, or you would die uh, sitting on that--what is the difference?

The question that this young man, or these young people ask, is why did all the Jewish people die standing waiting for the shots rather than running toward the Germans, even--if they are going to get shot anyway, running toward the Germans anyway?

Oh, I understand. Like in Auschwitz?

Yes, in Auschwitz.

They were standing there with the guns and many were running and, m...and on the way they were shot. The person who was sitting on the edge of that pit...


...had one percent of a chance yet to be, to be uh, to be saved, but the one who was running didn't have a chance at all. So, that one who was sitting there may be many, many were saved like that. Um, like they were already in the pit and they were shot, they were just um, how do you say that? That they were just showing that they are dead, but they weren't, you know, and they came out. I can't explain, but you really can make books and books from the stories you heard how people were saved in those camps like they came back. Like, I know many people who they pretended they were dead. That's the word. They were pretended that they were dead and they didn't. But, if you ran, ran against those guns towards a German soldier so, so... AK: That one percent was lost. That one percent chance is lost?

One percent was lost.


But many did that. Many went again and they touched that wire because they couldn't stand that terrible torture anymore and they, they, they, like, committed suicide-many did that.

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