Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992

Deportation to Płaszów

How did they take you to Płaszów?

To Płaszów? That's right. They liquidate Kraków ghetto and they say we're going to concentration camp, Płaszów.

So, they rounded you up in the street?

That's right. Everybody has to come out.

Did you have a suitcase?

(She laughs) I didn't take a suitcase. I have my child, but I was not allowed to go to Płaszów. I have tried. No children was allowed in Płaszów, to Płaszów. They were killing the children, but I didn't know what to do. I was waiting to the last minute. I didn't go out. My other brother. The children were older, they went up to Płaszów. I was the last one to go up to Płaszów, you know. It was a few children, my husband, you know, my husband didn't want to leave me, you know. He said whatever happens to you will happen to me, too. He didn't want to leave me, you know, but some men did this. Some men leave their wives and their children. They went up, you know. You know, at a moment like this, you don't know what to do. You are afraid. You can't help it, you know, you can't blame them, really. It was just terrible, you know. You really didn't know what to do, you know. You were afraid. Everybody's afraid, you know. People, other kids, they like to save their lives, you know. This is what I say sometimes, you can't blame those people what leave their wives and children and went up or other mothers who left the children and went up. You understand what I mean?

Of course.

My husband said no, he would stay to the last minute. Whatever happens to you will happen to me. Then it was 11:00 o'clock at night we heard in the ghetto, Kraków, shooting and screaming. It was just terrible. There were maybe a few hundred people waiting in line. Mostly women with children, you know. And the Commandant of the ghetto, Heira, Heira came running over to us, and he said to us, "You, I don't know what to do now. I can do nothing for you."

A Jewish man.

A Jewish man, yes, but he said this to us. I never forget this. He said, "You, you go up of your own. You can make of nothing. I can do nothing. You know what's going on here.” This is what he said to us.

They were shooting then.

Ya, the shooting was starting. They were shooting people in ghetto. It was 11:00 o'clock at night. It was sad to move, you know, up to the Płaszów with the left children, you know. Really, and women, another woman, me and my husband, and we went up, you know, walking the street, you know, up to concentration camp, Płaszów. It so happened, that I don't know, they let us through.

You walked it then?

Ya, we walked.


We walked up to Płaszów. It was something unbelievable that they let us through. They didn't look. Maybe it was too much going on already, you know, and they didn't look. I had my child in the Rucksack, you know. You know what is a Rucksack? They didn't know there was a child in there. They thought maybe the other people too was hiding something. They were wearing the very, you know, wearing coats very thick, and the children were under, you know, so you didn't know. They didn't maybe know, and they didn't look. So it was dark, night, they didn't know that the children, and this was the children, left children who came to concentration camp, Płaszów. Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992 - Family Member's Plights in Płaszów

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