Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Leaving the Ghetto

Do you remember when you left the ghetto?

In August, 1944. I don't remember the day, but it was a beautiful day in August. And they took us to uh, it was uh, a prison there, I don't know. They called it Czarnieckiego. They concentrated all the Jews from that section. I think the ghetto was divided in three parts [pause] and uh, we were there a couple of days. And they took us from there to the, to the station. The station was uh, open like car wagons, you know, you see cars and we were sitting there. The last picture now in my mind is that Poznański's grave uh, monument, I believe. It was a big monument. I think Poznański existed as long as Łódź existed--hundreds of years, they were a very famous Jewish uh, family.

That was the last thing you saw as you left?

Yes, the last thing I saw. The monument looked like Washington's--that round uh, dome-like uh, round...

Let me ask you two questions before we leave the ghetto. Was there any resistance--talk about resistance?

It was in 1940, I remember, it was a resistance. It wasn't much, but I remember we were sitting uh, we had our lunchtime or something--came a Jewish's policeman and he said, "I beat him up." The Jewish police said only the, how do you say ???


Yeah. we beat him up. and we were sitting--myself and another girl was sitting there, and I said, "Whom did you beat up?" "Jews." In 1940, they felt that they, they are uh, put in, into a--they didn't see any, any future, any day, or something, and they went to the, to the ??? and they wanted work, and they want to set--and yeah at that time there wasn't any work, yeah, and they said, "We want work. We don't--we are not animals. We don't want to be put in cages." And I don't--I believe it was--yeah I talked to some people, there was German help and the Jewish police took them back. They didn't let them--it lasted only maybe a day or two. They beat him up and they, you know, it was still--we were--everybody was afraid, and everybody wanted to survive. Everybody thought that "Tomorrow, tomorrow we'll survive. The war will end and we'll be alive."

The other thing I had to ask you was that--was there uh, that you know of, any religious services going on during the ghetto?

I don't think so because we lived in the same house with very religious people. They were praying in the houses, individual, I believe.

But not on holidays, that you know of?

There weren't any synagogues. They burned the synagogues in 1939. The minute they came into, into Łódź , they burned uh, a very famous uh, synagogue. They called it a Deutsche ??? a German synagogue. I guess a German must have started it or something--German Jews. This was burnt in September, October. And it was out of the ghetto. In the ghetto, I don't know, I believe they were praying in the houses, because I lived with religious people. You couldn't, you know, people were--at that time, was only food, and food. As longs as you had food, that's all what you wanted in the ghetto: food and hide yourself from the Germans.

Were you thinking about your parents at all at this point?

Oh we was all--we were dreaming and thinking all the time. We hoped they were alive and will meet them after the war.

Where did you think they had gone?

There were rumors they were--that they were down south. They took them south around Krakow, in sm...to small towns.

To work?

To work or to live the small towns or villages. I hoped and prayed, because I remember I used uh, our silver, silver knives--not knives uh, spoons. I, I took with them and I, and I lost some. My manger uh, wanted only to eat with silver. It was silver spoon I guess, must have taste better, or something. And I lost a couple of them. And I said, "Oh my god my mother will come, what did I do with the silver?" I uh, and a lot of them I sold for a little rice, or for peas, or to have to cook with a potato. We ate only cabbage and uh, cabbage and, and uh, if we had in springtime, but uh, they gave you twice a week the rations and from one time to another or two days, a day that you didn't eat anything.

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