Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rose Wagner - August 14, 2002

Conditions in Ghetto II

So you--would you stand in line for food, is that what...

No, no. We didn't stay in a line. I--you know what? We just walked in, in a store and we bought a couple things. Uh, I don't remember if any stores were already open. Were they open at the end? I don't think so, I don't think so. You know, people, you know what people were doing? If they--from coffee they made from the grinds, they made a cake. I remember where I was working, the woman, she brought a cake. And I was hungry so I ate. After I finish she said to me, "You know what it was? That was the grinds from the coffee." And we had the money. So I bought a few things for money from the black market.

How would get to the black market from Łódź?

Because you told one person to the other you know, you found out through, you know.

So were there people smuggling things in from the other side?

I don't know if they were smuggling. If they could smuggle, but maybe they did, maybe they did. Because they had electric wires, you know. But probably you know, the people that they were close to Rumkowski...

They could get out.

maybe they had, they could, they could leave the ghetto and go out and, and bring some things in. Probably that's what happened.

And were there--weren't there bridges to cross over...

Yeah, there was a big bridge from the big ghetto, from Limanowskiego.


There was a bridge from Limanowskiego from the little, going to ??? the other side. This was the one side, from the ghetto in the middle was the bridge and then you went on the other side was the ghetto.

Trolley would--back and forth and ???

No, I don't think that there was a trolley. You know what, I don't think so. You know what, in 1943, forty...it was already very bad, very bad. They were stopping, you had, you had a, the yellow star.

When did you get the yellow star, right away?

The yellow star we got in 1941.

And everybody had to put one on.

Yeah, everybody had to put on that yellow star. And they started to put on the white band you know, the fence. The fence people did in I think in 1940, but Łódź was the first one you know? The first.

How did you feel about the star?

Oh, unbeliev...really terrible, terrible. But that's what happened to us. I was just thinking about my grandmother. She said, "Why don't you leave? Why don't you go into the United States? Go to Italy." She said, go to Italy. But you know my--the, the, the son-in-laws were making fun of her. They were making fun and they said "No, we're not going, we're not leaving."

Who knew, right? It was hard.

Who knew, right.

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