Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


What happened after the uh...did you spend the rest of the war in Bochnia?


You were there for the whole time. Do you remember any, any other incidents that uh, stand out in your mind?

Yes, I, I remember. Well, uh, now the time, this was still when, when this, when this family was, when those two families were living, 'cause I, I found out this from, from them, you know. And um, this was organized unit, you know, of uh, of uh, Jewish people who were supposed to be taken out of the ghetto to work in those ??? that I mentioned to you, you know, before. And uh, in this particular unit they were, they were sewing uniforms for the gen...for the gendarmes, you know. In another unit, they were making mattresses, but this particular unit--so they had--there was one Polish tailor, you know, working over there, uh, among them, and a few real Jewish tailors, and I mean that they were really tailors, and you could tell, when, later on--uh, 'cause I, I am jumping from, from one subject to another. I have so much to say, I really don't know how, how to organize all of this. So, at that time, this was my, my time to go to, you know, okay, this was my main...my birthday. And I got what they call Arbeit, Arbeits, uh, Arbeits card, you know, and I was supposed to uh, show up at Arbeits, uh, at my town, you know, and register for work. And very often when you went there, you did not go home, they ship you to, to Germany uh, for, for, for work. And my parents were very much afraid, I will never forget, you know, my mother was crying and my father was despairing, and uh, we are sitting all at the table, and uh, Mrs. Brown came, and says, "Why are you crying? I am going to help you." So, in fact, she helped me, you know, and she went to, to ghetto, and she knew the lady who was the um, head of the Judenrat, you know, uh, over there...

Jewish council?

The Jewish council, and, Mrs. Rosen, not a man, only a woman, you know. And, uh, either she was her girlfriend, school, from, from school some time ago or something, she knew her. It looked to me just like she knew her very well, and she talked to her, and uh, this was also, she, you know, she had so much power, that it was up to her to decide what Polish people would be able to work in that small, small group of, of Polish people who I suppose was just like...In the beginning it started just like ten, and then maybe fifteen people all together, till they finish off the ghetto, and then they hired some more Polish people and they had to work. So we were working side-by-side over there, and uh, now this is, I, when I found out... in this ghetto, for example, there was enough people...where I mean, enough room only for one, one-third, you know, enough just like enough beds or, or places, you know, where people could sleep. And so three people were using the same bed now, and one, one person was sleeping, another one was, was doing whatever had to be done, you know, around the, around the house, or maybe wash or cook or something, you know, and uh, whatever people do during their waking hours, and another shift was working, and this is how they were rotating, you know?

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