Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Life During German Occupation

So you think he was involved in something of a black market?

No, I think he--I don't know if it was black market, he was trying to get, he was trying to get out of Warsaw into smaller communities. Uh, his mother lived in a small community, I don't know how far away. I don't know, maybe he went--I know that at one time he went to her town and came with all kinds of food.


Uh, he was trying--this was kind of a storage of supplies for survival. Uh, I remember my mother pickling a whole barrel of, of cabbage with some friends. Things that she had done in the past to--even without a war, there were--a few friends would get together and make a whole, and cut that cabbage and pickle a barrel and then apparently share it. So there was a lot of frantic activity going on around the house. Uh, we didn't, we were very much restricted. My parents restricted my sister and, and me where we could go and how we could. School stopped. I didn't attend to school shortly after the Germans came in.

This was a public school, you were going to public school?

The public school, yes. We stayed for a few months under the German occupation. I know that we stayed--that we left in the winter. My parents tried to con...my parents felt that being politically liberal, being involved in the socialist-communist movement that they would be the first one to be persecuted. And they tried, I understand, to convince some of my relatives, their brothers and sisters, to leave Poland. But no one wanted. No one believed that there's any reason to leave Poland.

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