Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992

First Changes

What are some of the first changes that you remember when the Germans came in?

Oh, when the first German came in, I will tell you, we were scared. This was, we were so scared. We were afraid to, to go, to...they put on this, the yellow bands, you know. We were afraid to go out, and the Polacks start to, against us too, you know. And it was terrible. I don't know my feeling, I was afraid, I was scared, you know. And then it was very bad for us, that we, our husbands were away for a month, you know.

They'd gone to Russia.

They went to Russia. That's right, that's right.

Did they come back?

That's right. They went to Russia. My brothers and my whole, all the men from the whole family only went to Russia, you know. And we didn't have no communication, nothing, we didn't know nothing about them, you know. Nothing, you know. It was very hard. Life was so hard, we were afraid to go out, you know. I stopped working, you know, but I, I stopped, nobody want, had the number they was doing, had the number that was buying things. You know, it was, it was very frightening. It was very bad, you know.

Did you have to move?

I...no, I, first I didn't, I was in my apartment, but then we moved to ghetto. Not everybody could move to, but a lot of my family, a lot went to around the Kraków, the small towns, you know. It was worse even then, you know. We didn't know what was going down. We didn't really, no communication, no this, nothing. It was very bad, you know. Very frightening, know?

So there were rations?


How did you get your food?

The food, we had a special days, we got stamps, like stamps...

From the Judenrat?

That's right. And then, I will tell you, one of my brothers, he escaped to Kraków and to us. He had materials, you know, he was hiding this and with this material he could get something, you know. It, it was very hard, it was very hard to get food and everything. It was just terrible, what I will tell you. Just terrible. And later on, my husband came back from Russia, my brothers, three brothers came back from Russia, you know, too. But they have wives here and children, you know, they came back and it was very hard to come back but they did it and my husband didn't want me to leave. It would better if he would've stay in Russia and, and, two of my brothers, two of my brothers stayed in Russia, you know, in Lemberg, and then they went to Russia. And this how they saved their lives. All what came back were killed by the Germans. All. My husband survived an...[pause] I had a baby, I told you, and, and we went up, then later they liquidated ghettos, you know. And they took us to concentration camp, Płaszów up in... Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992 - Starting the Ghetto

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn