Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

No Hint of Holocaust in Soviet Union

Before we finish for today, was there any inkling in your mind or maybe your parent's mind that there was some sort of campaign to kill Jews during the war?

At that time when we were in Siberia?

While you were in Siberia or even before.

Well my father--my parents feared--are you talking about killing Jews in the Soviet Union or killing Jews in Poland, or Germany?

Well, first by Germans.

By Germans, yes. My father predicted, my parents--I should say--my parents predicted that the Jews will have a very tough life during occupation. They did not envisioned this mass slaughter, this mass killing. No one envisioned it. But they heard of what went on with the Jews in, in Germany. And they predicted, that's not going to be any easier for Jews in, in Poland.

And what about in the Soviet Union? Was there ever any hint about what was going on?

There was not a fear of being slaughtered en masse as Jews. There was an enormous fear for disappearance of individuals, of individuals who were accused of being--doing something against the government. The slightest thing, if you were uh, not productive enough, you were undermining the government. So the fear was on a individual basis, but not a fear that all Jews as a people would be killed.

Okay, I think we should maybe stop.


[interruption in interview]

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