Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985

Stories of Jews in Hiding

Do, do you remember ever seeing or hearing anything about the Jews who were hiding under false papers being turned in?

Now, they were not under, under those that I heard, myself, this was one family, uh, was in uh, near Bochnia, in a vi...in a village, now, but those people did not have any papers. They were hiding, who knows where, maybe in a, in a basement or, or something, and uh, now there was a big, big talk because uh, you know, till the money, were there, you know... then this man, you know, that family kept him till the money were finished, and he told them they have to, they have to move. And, and this family, you know, Jewish family who was hiding over there, says, well, what we going to do? Where are we going to go, you know? And uh, he didn't ask them to, to Germans, but in, in return later, he was killed by uh, you know, he was killed uh, the whole, well not the whole family, but the wife, children were left, but the wife and the, and the husband were later executed by, by Polish Underground, you know. In the beginning this was maybe just like a sporadic help, here and there. People didn't talk about very much, you know, and uh, if uh, if somebody uh, this was a silent understanding, don't ask, be very quiet, and if you just be blind and, and be deaf, you know. And then not only our uh, you know, not only Jewish people, they were, they were hiding other people, you know. Some, some other people were hiding, too. So we did not, as a rule, you know, we did not ask many questions. Now if somebody was buying a little bit more food, you know, on the black market, now that was a, a dead giveaway, and uh, some, some people paid, paid dearly, you know, for, for this. Some somehow managed to, to, you know, to, to help Jews, and then those people did survive, but uh...Then there were times, now-- that I heard this was in Kraków, some lady uh, she knew uh, somebody from the uh, Jewish ghetto in, in Kraków. And uh, this woman knowing that uh, you know, uh, maybe that she will have to die or something, she gave her child uh, you know, for, to, to hide, to, to this, you know, to some widow with two other children. And uh, she, she allowed her, you know, she told, she asked her to, to keep that child. She agreed, and uh, somebody, you know, maybe a neighbor, with some part or something, somebody then asked her and uh, Germans came and ask, "Are you hiding, you know, a Jewish child?" And she says, "No." They all are uh, they all are uh, my own, you know? So Germans ask her to uh...

[interruption in interview]

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