Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Wayne - 2005

Start of war

Do you remember where you were when the war started?

Yeah, I was at home in the bakery, you know, and uh. As a matter of fact, the, the, the night before the war started, the last day of August I had a meeting. I was in charge, in charge of defense if there should be any bombing come.

So you knew it was coming.

Well, well, with this kind of meeting we kinda knew something was coming. And then just as I, I get home at eleven, twelve o'clock at night time from the meeting there was an announcement, the Germans attacked Poland. And I was one of the very many Jews and, and Poles actually that felt we can win the war with Germany. Yeah, let us attack us, we can beat them, without knowing they were sold out before even the war started.

Do you remember hearing bombs fall?

Yes, yes, as a matter of fact, there's something that sticks out in my mind very avidly that we were hiding because airplanes were coming, and we heard bombs falling. And then we hear an announcement, do not pick anything up that you find in the streets because the Germans are throwing uh, uh, poison candies, which was, wasn't true. Number one, the city that I lived, which was Łódź, was not bombed too much. As a matter of fact, we probably didn't have two or three bombings. We probably didn't have ten buildings destroyed in the whole city.

How come?

One of the reasons, well, Łódź was a funny kind of city. We had a population of two hundred Germans, Volksdeutsch, two hundred Jews and maybe, maybe two hundred Poles. So the, the, we had a big minority, I don't know like, it was a minority or whatever it is, of Germans. As a matter, we had some Germans working with us in the bakery.

And it was called Litzmannstadt, right?

During the war, the Germans from Łódź they called it Litzmannstadt.

So in a week they were in Łódź, the Germans were in Łódź.

Oh yeah, oh and the whole war lasted only two weeks.

Do you remember seeing them march through the streets?

Oh sure, scary, scary. Coming in and taking everything over and before long, you know, uh, they uh, did all kinds of decrees that Jews cannot be in the streets after five o'clock and they gotta put on yellow stars and....

First the yellow band, right.

Yep, yellow band and yellow, yellow stars. And, uh...

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