Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Silver - June 21, 1982

Child's Death in Turkestan

This is at the end you're talking?

Yeah, no it was not the end. When we came to Tashkent they didn't let us stay, then we went to Turkestan und I got a small baby that I had in this place Diktarka und my baby was ten months and he got sick on the train. When I came to this Turkestan they didn't, I didn't know where to go I didn't know where there was even a Jewish uh, what was a, I didn't know uh, it was even a hospital, a tartar took us in when I went to the, to the hospital. They took my baby in the hospital and it was just twenty-four months-- twenty-four hours he survive--he didn't survive because they put him in a bath of cold water and he got the measles then, I didn't know he had the measles, and the measles came out, they came out from the inside und uh, he got pneumonia und right away he was gone. So when the baby died I-- this was like I can remember all my life. I was sitting, they took mein--the body for my baby I was sitting outside the, whole night me and my husband we didn't know what to do it was all night they took out the, the, the dead uh, corpse of my child in a little bed you understand the corpse was amazing--it wasn't so cold. So in the morning I find I was back and uh, we didn't know that was existing even a Jewish cemetery there so we was back we wrapped the child in a little blanket they give me from the hospital und uh, between me und my husband was carrying for that baby to, to, to bury and those back und they put a, made a hole in the, in the clay was the ??? clay a lot and so they made like a ??? a hole, und there I laid my baby in this hole and those back covered him in the ground. We stood, stood me and my husband, like two, we were like--couldn't even cry we were standing like we were stunned, you know but I don't know, like stones und those back was saying a prayer for my child and weeks and months went by and I didn't even remember not to go see it because 500 inhabitants of the Jewish cemetery--I couldn't even find the grave it was like in hills in clay we laid down my baby he was ten months old, beautiful boy und this uh, things that I remember und I fear it was never going back from my, from my memory till I, I close my eyes. Und uh, my first child I lost in 1940 he was three years and four months old he died from the, from the ??? meningitis there wasn't medicine it was the uh, before they send us away to Russia right after when I went to my uncle like I say in Pruzany there I lost my baby and I buried him in our cemetery. I was laying in the hospital for three weeks--couldn't do a thing, couldn't save him. And then the second one I had in Russia that was how my death experience. Then uh, when the war ended we came back to Poland in 1945 we came back to Poland because we couldn't stay already in the place that uh, we were born or living everything was gone. So we were living in a little town called--the Poles took it over from the Germans--called Langenbielau, Germany but, but the Poles they called it Bielawa und then I got mine, uh, in Turkestan I got my oldest son. I got pregnant again because my son was uh the oldest was my third one. And a, another experience I have in a, in a, when I had my boy in a, in Turkestan there wasn't a mohel to make perform a bris so it was a, a Bukharian Jew, and a boy, a ???, he brought a, a mohel from Tashkent to this little town Turkestan, it was called, and this mohel made, he took--how many children was from the, from the people from the ??? from the war people? So it was six children we made a, a communal place like a little, what the--little shul, like a little what the Jews have them there and this mohel came in and all the mothers brought in their children to perform the uh, the bris. So I remember my, my son was six weeks old and he was by me the third one and I was carrying him to, to, to this little shul to make the bris. Uh, I made a bet with my tears I was so scared a matter of fact there was a accident there was a child of three months that performed the bris and the child died because the infection from this ???--they, they just wash it with a little alcohol und uh, it wasn't enough uh, the infection it went into his blood stream and the baby died. The mother uh, got a nervous breakdown she would go out and shake. And I was sad this child was buried the, the mother's face from pain you know it was like uh, they performed the bris without any--he was three months old already he was a big child from pain--und but mein boy, the infection, I was lucky, the infection came outside before it healed it took, took me a month I got the doctor twice because he--I was just lucky that he survived this bris.

How old was he?

He was six weeks.

Oh he was a baby yet.

Yeah, he was six weeks old but he, he's uh, didn't heal till maybe four, four, four or five weeks it was uh, infected the same thing but I was lucky by me the infection was outside but this baby in three months, like I say the infection went in the inside ??? was uniting with blood you know and everything. Ah, so many stories things, it uh, it's too painful to even to talk about it, you know. So then uh, we went and uh, came back uh, to, to Poland back and uh, I got my daughter Esther.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn