Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Work in the Ghetto

What would you do during the day in the ghetto? What were you engaged in?

I was working the first summer. Somehow I had uh, an uncle and he was in the education department. He, he got me that job as--in the summer camp. So I was working, I came home--I brought some food home. I did everything possible to bring home for my younger brother and sister. I was working, but on the way to work back and forth you were scared to death. And all the concentration was in the middle of the ghetto, nothing at the borders. Because at the border they, they were shooting in with rifles. And I don't believe that they had orders to do that, they just did it on their own.

So you worked with children during the day.

Yeah, that was the first year, yeah. I worked the first summer. Then they liquidated it. They didn't...

The kindergarten?


And then what did you do?

Then I had a job, as an uh, we made storm coats. They sent it to--for the soldiers to Siberia. Very heavy--was that cement, which you put today on the shoes to uh, I was working there for a while and they closed it up too. And automatically, I guess I went from one job to another. There was another job opening and I was working in a kitchen.

How did you find out about this...

The jobs?

...the jobs.

I can't remember even now, how. Did we go? We went some place to find out, if you--we gonna get a job or something.

And that came from the Judenrat?

Yes. There was some gemeinde or something..

Let me ask you one more thing about Rumkowski; you said he was a not a good man. Did you know anybody who worked with him or worked for him?

Ah, He was a very--he was a mean man. He was beating up--he's supposed to be manager of orphanage. And he was even beating up--he looked so terrible when the war started. He, he gave me the job, the first job as kindergarten, now I remind myself, and he was bent down and skinny and red. He was a horrible picture to look at. And uh, then they made him for the Judenälteste. He got uh, beautiful clothes and he got uh, fat. Even he, he ate up all the food from the 200,000 people, I guess. And uh, not only the food, but he was wearing beautiful clothes and he had girlfriends too. The were ru...rumors were that he had uh, very girlfriends and he send them out, and one of them was my manager, ???. She was the manger over at um, I guess they did send some foods. How much food they send in, who knows and he uh, preserved it and because the Jewish people never had to ??? what is the ??? they preserved potatoes. In the spring when they supposed to give the people the food there weren't any because it got frozen. That's why we uh, I guess he pleased very much the Germans. He tries to please them very much. Whatever they said he said "Ja, ja, ja," everything, "ja." Then we had another man--he's supposed to be [bell rings] uh, uh, how do you call it? Like the mafia here.


Like the mafia here. Yeah, like the mafia here. And he was better for the people. He uh, the minute he got something, he gave to the stores. And uh, they gave people the food to eat.

What was his name?


Did he replace Rumkowski?

Uh, It was a fight, I heard, over who--he--Rumkowski was still there, but he didn't have the power. I think that Gertler had more power than Rumkowski. It was uh, power fight or something...

It was better under Gertler?

Under Gertler--he was more for the people--he was, I guess, an average person. And I worked there at uh, with his two cousins. One cousin, one cousin had a little boy, in my group. I knew his two cousins... [bell rings]

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