Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


On September 1st?

Yes, September the 1st. And then I got, I remember I got so frightened because it was terrible noise and everything, I started crying and this uh, woman who used to come to us once, once a week at that time, she helped out with, with cleaning and uh, she came that day, and my, my mother ask her if she could take me with her to the village. And uh, she told me that uh, my father and, and her, you know, they going to pack some of the things, you know, and I don't know what they wanted to do yet...and then maybe in a day or two, they going to meet me over there and then we all are going to go east. This was the plan. And then, uh, I remember, over there in that village, like uh, front was moving, but while we really didn't exactly know, 'cause at that time you, you were out of, out of communication, you know. There was no paper, no telephones, you know, nothing like this, everything was broken. So you only knew what was happening maybe in your house, in, in a, a community, very close community, where you, it was just, you were completely iso...isolated. So I wasn't even in touch with my, my parents. And I was on the other side. Now just like near Bochnia, there was a little river, Raba. So I was on the other side of Raba in uh, rather flat land, flat land, and this is where the front moved and, and you know, one, one morning I woke up and the Germans were in the kitchen already, yeah.

In the kitchen?

In the kitchen. Oh, they, they, they went to our houses, you know. They, they stationed themselves over there and, and got whatever they wanted; food, or, or uh, something, was no question of, of denying them, you know, or if you wanted to eat or, or something, you know, you couldn't protest. But, day before I watched, you know, and this was just like, I could see direction of Bochnia was just like a, a, edge. We call this górnej ??? upper, upper highway. And hundred, hundred years before uh, Duchess ??? used to escape from Tatars over there, she was escaping back to home of her father...to Hungary, you know, and uh, so this, this old highway was not very, not very often frequented, you know, but it still existed, and along this, this old highway, there were some old farms, you know. And I saw the fire here, this far, you know, was just like a, complete firework, so I don't know what, what happened, 'cause the front still was just miles, miles away, you know. So either they bombed this, or somehow those, those houses, those farms were being burned. It was quite a sight, and I didn't know that at that time, the house where, where I used to live, this was burning too, you know? Uh, and uh...

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