Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emanuel Tanay - March 16, 1987

Separation of Family

How long was your family together?

We, a number of times we separated. You see the liquidations of the ghetto. Let's see the ghetto, I am assuming at it's height was 6,000 people in our town. Then there would be a liquidation and it would be smaller and smaller and smaller. But when they did have one of those liquidations, children, women, were the ones who were first deported. So, when you found out that that was happening, my parents would either hide me or send me someplace or my sister. There were a variety of ways where we had to be separated, then we will come back to the ghetto. Because you know, they would liquidate the ghetto, then Jews would come back, and things would go back to normal. Maybe for six months or, and so on. [pause] So there were a number of such separations. But the ultimate breakup of the, of the family occurred sometime in 1942. That is, my, I went to the monastery, my mother was on false papers and my father went to the camp. See the, the danger was greatest to children. Children were the first ones to go. There was the notion that able bodied men or women who could do work would be spared. And it was all playing for time. We all understood that something terrible was happening, but there was the notion that any moment Germans would be defeated and we would be liberated. You know, America would come into the war. I mean there was the notion like for example, if they only start the war in the beginning with England, they will never make it. Okay. Or if they start war with Russia, I remember we thought, oh, that's, that would be the end of them right away.

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