Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

On the Train for Weeks

Do you remember anything about them?

No, no I really don't remember anything about them and I don't--I can't, I don't remember anything about them. It's kind of like I totally blocked out. I remember a trip, I remember some other uh, developments and some other uh, scenes, but not the people. I remember we stopped in places and I can even recall the kind of food my parents would buy, the bread that was locally made and the fascination that I had once when we came down already to the warmer climate where they had dried uh, melons, dried pieces of melons braided like a braid and they were selling them right in front of the station. And a variety of breads that I had never seen and we ate very simply uh, foods and bread basically.

And on the trip, you had said earlier that you were frequently hungry...


...was this part of the trip as well?

During the whole year, during the five years of the war, I was hungry most of the time.

Must have been cold on the trip.

Uh, we were dressed warm. We did not experience cold because we were all kind of a huddled in and there was not much, there were no large windows. So I do not recall, I don't recall us suffering from cold.

So the--your family was still together.

The family was together, yes, my sister and uh, and, and my parents.

Did you know where you were going?

I knew that we were going to warmer climates. I'm not even sure whether my parents had a specific destination or whether this was organized through some Polish--my impression is that this whole movement out of Siberia was orga...organized through some Polish uh, agencies that existed or, then in the Soviet Union, that it was not a kind of a individual decision where people went, because almost everyone that I spoke thereafter ended up more or less in the same area. So it would be unusual if it would be coincidental.

How long was the trip?

The trip seemed shorter than going down back there, but I think it was a few weeks.



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