Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sara Silow - August 8, 1993

Łódź Ghetto

Let me take you back a little bit to the, to the ghetto. When you first--when the Germans first came...


...what do you remember changing? What kinds of things happened from day to day?

They send us to a ghetto.

That's the first thing?

Yeah. And later on they closed the ghetto.

How did you find out that they were going to send you to the ghetto?

Because they told us to move.

Who, who told you?

I not remember. I not remember.

Do you remember Chaim Rumkowski? Do you remember him?

Oh, Rumkowski. He was a killer. The German give food--for example, potatoes. He said not to give now. You have to wait. And they got frozen and later on, they, they, they put on bleach on the potatoes that were frozen and it was smelling the whole streets. And people were starving from hunger. He was just terrible. But his people, they were living a good life but the rest of the people were starving from hunger. He was just terrible. Yeah.

He was the head of the...

Yeah, he went to Auschwitz, too.

...the head of the Judenrat.


Did you know anybody else in the Judenrat?

Only, only him.

Did you ever see him in the streets?


Did you see the money with his pict...picture on it? He used to...


...print money with his picture on it.

No, I don't remember.

So, you, you went into the ghetto and the whole family lived in one room?


And you were--there was rationing?


Rationing? They rationed the food?

Sure, sure.

How much food did you get?

Nothing but nothing.

How did you get your food?

One neighbor, they got a pharmacy. She was taking care of this. Always we were taking--went to her house with a kitchen and she would give us everything. Yeah. Every two weeks, I believe. Every two weeks.

You didn't stand in any lines?

No, no. One time they give eggs. A half-egg from the whole years--a whole egg. And for example, three people--we were three people. How can we divide a half-egg and one, one woman was alone so my mother said, "I will cook the eggs and I give you a half." A half-egg. From the whole years that was the one time I have egg, yeah.

What other kinds of food did you have? Potatoes?

Potatoes? Who got potatoes?

No potatoes.

You know, when somebody was sick the doctor give us--we call this our ??? They called this uh, like a medicine--a prescription--from a kitchen to take the potato peels.

That was the medicine?

Yeah. This was, this was, this was good when you got this. And every day we got our soup. They send us to work in the ghetto. I was working in ??? from straw to make--they were making shoes for the soldiers in the army to keep them warm--the, the, the foots.

So, you worked in a shoe factory?

This was not a factory. It was a place to, to--where we were working and other days they give us soup. If you find two pieces of potatoes, oh, it was yontif, yeah. Now, I said sometime to myself and to my husband, "We have now everything that we cannot enjoy. I am sick; you are sick. Nothing we can do. We have now everything, but there is no life for us anymore." I don't enjoy my life. When I am going someplace, people are laughing, are happy. I cannot.


Because I am the only survivor from my family. It is not a pleasure. I am the one who is suffering. I am suffering. They are gone already. Sometime when I am going to bed and I started to think about, I don't sleep all night. I fall asleep six o'clock in the morning.

Has it always been this way?

It is from the ghetto. All the years I cannot sleep well. This night, for example, I got maybe two hours' sleep.

You think about them all the time?


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