Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Knowledge of the KGB


Back to Poland after the war.

Did--at anytime do you think it occurred to your mother, to your parents that they might not go back to Poland.

No, not at all.

Nothing would cause that.

My parents were so disappointed and disillusioned about the Soviet system that they couldn't wait to get back to Poland. You know, we had, there was such a paranoia among people, people were afraid to disclose anything even to a friend because we heard story about one, about someone talking about another person that he is a disloyal citizen and that person would disappear in the middle of the night. There were so many individuals who would disappear in the middle of the night. Whatever arrests were taken--and it didn't take much to be arrested. Someone said that this person is disloyal and uh, there was no questioning and no judgment and no jury. And they would, and this KGB would come in the middle of the night and take them away and they were never heard from again. And my parents were horrified, they were horrified. And no one...

So you knew about the KGB.

Pardon me?

You knew about the KGB.

Oh yes, we knew about the KGB very well. And we knew the fear that existed in the community about the KGB because it didn't require a act, just someone accusing you of doing something. Someone accusing you of saying something inappropriate against Stalin or against the government.

Even a child.

Even a--well, I don't know if children disappeared on their own.

But they could accuse....

But, a child could accuse--you heard of children accusing their parents...

Children accusing parents.

Children accusing parents of being disloyal to the government.

Why would they do that?

Uh, they were so indoctrinated in schools of Motherland and of devotion to the country and there was so much talking about enemies of the people.

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