Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mark Webber - December 13, 2004

Discussion of Predicament

Did, did this have the element of an adventure for you at all?

No adventure. No, we were not uh, we were not uh, looking uh, for--to, to, to see the countryside and all this here. Everybody was sticking to his own--worried, con...constantly, every day, was the worry about maintaining ourselves. How are we going to eat? There was no restaurants. The only thing that they had in Russia--at every train station, they had a little hut, that you could go over with a pail or a pot or whatever you had, and get free hot water. They call it ???, which means hot water and um, and uh, this was the only thing that you could get other than what you carried with yourself, if you had some dried food or something like this to eat.

So what was the conversation like in all this?

It's ironic--was hardly any conversation. In our family, there was not much conversation going on, all throughout, even when we were still in, in Poland--in Pułtusk. There was conversation um, you met with some friends, you talked, and the par...the parents would tell you, "Mark, go and do this here." And um, um, my mother was uh, always anxious that every of her children should be well-dressed and neatly dressed--she made her own clothing for most of us, and all this kind of a thing. But as far as sitting around and having a schmooze, no. I, I, I used to hear my mother talking--she had a circle of friends she would get together on Shabbat or some other evening and they would talk. Uh, mostly the conversation was with friends, but as far as the, the family itself talking, no. The only conversation had to do about how to get something that we need. Not to save anything, but just to put into our mouth, to sustain ourselves.

There was no sort of comforting from your parents?

No, no. I think my parents were, of course, protecting us. We were not doing--I was not doing anything to find the bread and the food and all this here, it all fell on the shoulders of my parents. My brother, for the most part, he took um, he took part--in fact he took over later on in the war the leadership of our family, you might say. My father sort of uh, he was very depressed and he could not get into doing things.

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