Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985

The Ghetto

So you were working in the ghetto now?

No, this was outside, that ??? outside of the ghetto, so people...

I see.

People from ghetto were taken over there, under, under arms, you know, by, by Germans. They were brought over there for, for the hours of work, and later taken back. And this, this is why later on I, I witness, you know, that they, when uh, when they finished off the ghetto. Now, we heard few times that this is supposed to be, you know, the end, the end. But they were, what they were doing, Germans, they were frightening Jewish people, to get some money, maybe some gold from them or something, and then they said, "OK, now this will be OK," because we, we got this, they had to, like, like bribe this, you know, SS had, you know, in, in Bochnia. I guess this man must, must be very rich if he ever survived, you know. And uh, till finally he knew that he was not able to, to get much, much more, you know? And he decided maybe, or he got the, he got the order from, from higher up, you know, somebody higher up that this, this was supposed to be the last day. And we knew, because the SS came, and more army came, you know, at that time, and uh, and everything. So they were gathering around, around the ghetto, you know. And those people, now--that I will also-- that I will never, never forget. So I was at work, and a man came up to me, he was in about, like, early forties, and he told me, "Could you, could you get out of, out of this, and the guard will let you go." Guard across the street--see, now I--this was just, like, okay, this, this building is here, and you see I would have to cross the, cross the street, and then there was just like, walled-in street, you know? And you could still walk, but was a wall here and a wall there. And then there was a ghe...a ghetto gate. And he says that there will be a woman who will hand me two children, and if I could bring him, bring them back over there. You know, frankly speaking, I was, I was frightened, you know, because Germans were, were standing over there. But how could you tell the father, "I'm not going to go," you know, and, I could not even say, say to myself, "No, I will not go," that this would be out of question. So I, I went, and then I was close, close to that, that gate, and a man came up to me, you know, a civilian, and says, "What are you doing over here?" Just turn me back, you know. And so I, I went, I went back, and I was thinking all that time that maybe this, this poor father was standing by the window, because he could see very well, you know, from over there how I was walking, and uh, trying to see if I am going to come up with those children or, or something, you know? And uh, you know, and uh, he knew that I was going back, and, and all the children over, over there. Then we, we found out that some, some of them, you know, some of the Jewish people, made deals with, with some Germans, maybe they pay them off, you know, to take them, take them away, you know. So the Germans uh, made this deal, they took, took just them, and, well, you know, they, they killed them afterwards, anyways.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn