Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985

Liquidation of the Ghetto

But from, by the direction where the noise was coming from, I could guess that they were maybe getting some people, that they thought they were hiding still, you know? And uh, they were taking them, now, they had dogs with them, they were taking them someplace, and uh, and later they gathered them in some courtyard. Now we couldn't see very well, you know, but this was just like, you could know, really, not even seeing exactly what was, what was happening, you know, you could really know what was, what was going on over there. So there was screaming, screaming and then uh, there was machine gun, you know, and uh, quiet, after a little while, you know. And now, at that time, we are sitting frozen, my girlfriend and I, you know, be...behind some, you know, and hiding, and I just couldn't move, you know? And then, what, what they were probably, what, what Germans did, you know, they, they probably pile, pile those bodies or something, and put some gasoline, and burn this. And the smoke was, was started coming, you know, I mean, the wind blow this in our, in our direction, and this is when, when I just, you know, uh, she run, and I ran after her, and, you know, and I never knew that I could run that fast. And uh, so this is, this is, you know, I think of what people were saying, about hundred...160 people died over there. And they left some group of about ninety, ninety people to clean, to clean up in the ghetto. So what, what they were doing, like for about ten days, sorting out some clothes, you know, and uh, which could be used, and, and just simply cleaned. And I saw Rania. Now her, her parents, somebody told me, they, they committed suicide, and her brother too, you know, and uh, but she, she survived. She was among, among those, those people, you know, over there. And one day I was going uh, towards the railway station, that street, and uh, one of the walls of ghetto, with the big gate was facing the street, and she was, she was talking to the guard, and she had, she had a broom, you know, over there and uh, I don't know, just like, just like she was sweeping, sweeping the street, or, or something, and he talked to her, and...

Polish guard?


German guard?

No, no, no, no. German, German. Normally they did not use, they did not use Polish guard. But what they, when they used Polish, uh, this was, I don't know what, what it short, is short for, uh, some youth organization, specially, you know. Now they-- not organization, this was just like a, a labor, labor section of, of Polish young people, you know. They had, they had to do this work, only men, and uh, they told them to go and dig, and dig, because they didn't know what they were doing in ??? and uh, later they told us really what's happened during the execution, you know, when they were closing the ghetto, those 6,000 people. This is how we found out; through them. They got them drunk. So this was, this was about all, you know? What, what I can say? But then you know, Professor Bolkosky, now, just like after even reading one of the books what I, what I have here, and like when uh, when Mr. ??? you know, when he committed suicide as a protest, he wrote this letter in London, you know, to Polish president and Polish prime uh, prime minister, you know, uh, and he mentioned something that, okay, the Polish people, some, some of them helped, but is his impression that uh, Polish government could have done much more, you know, and uh, we could have uh, organized our, you know, uh, more help in, in Poland.

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