Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Exodus of Jews Back to Poland

Let's go back for a second...


...to ???.


A lot happened to you in ???. That was--sounds like that was the most up to this point the most traumatic time.

That was a very, very difficult time.

After your father died, what was life like--and your mother was very ill. How long did that go on?

No, my father died when we were already in the orphanage. ??? is the place where we lived yet as a family unit.


Where we lived as a family unit and this is where I described the starvation and the weeks on onions or on grass.

Right, but the first--you were in more than one orphanage?

Yes, well that same orphanage was relocated. The orphanage was located in a community called Payariq.


And again I would spell it P-a-j-a-r-i-k.

So that's where...

That's just where the orphanage, yes.

How did you get from Payariq back to...

To Poland?

...to Poland.

In 1945...


...when the war was over...

You were getting news at this point of the war, I assume.

Yes, yes. And again through some organizations in the Soviet Union. There were organizations in the Soviet Union and the same forces that kind of collected the children and sent them to orphanages were there to see what happened to us during the war. And after, after that the whole orphanage was put on a train, and this time it was a passenger train, and we went to Krakow. And again a long, long...

That's far away.

...long way.

And your mother was with you.

My mother was with us, yeah. So that was my sister--my sister was married already, but she came with us, with all of us at the same time. And it wasn't just the orphanage, it was again the exodus of Jews to Poland.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn