Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984

Germans Enter the City

Uh, the rest of your family, you said your brother ...


...left in 1942?

No, the, the brother was still home.


My parents were in the same place when the war broke out.


Everybody was still there, you know, nobody run. But when the war broke out, you know uh, three days later, two days later when they already were bombarding, you know, and they were going ahead, so they said on the radio that uh, uh, that men, when--they should leave town because you don't know what will happen when the German will come. You see, Krakow, Warsaw was fighting long time, you know. Krakow was taken one week later. Not only one week later, a few days later, because Krakow was very old city, very, you know, was the old capital of the Poland...


...you know, before. And it was beautiful city, and they didn't want to destroy the city. So they told them they can come and they, they give 'em the city. So they came early, you know. So they told on the radio that when men wants to leave, they should leave. When they come, the German, they didn't know what's going to happen. So we uh, forced our husband, both of us, forced our husbands to leave the house. And they rented a buggy and a, and a, with a horse and they went away, you know, for, they wouldn't see 'em for a month maybe. But later they came back.

Where did he go? Where did your husband go?

They went to Wirowek toward the place where... Because we knew that the Russians are going to be. The Russians this time were uh, enemies to uh, German. Later they make the pact...

Yeah, yeah.

...you know. Yeah. So my husband went and his brother went there. When they wouldn't come maybe they would be alive. But they came back. They didn't want to leave us with the children.

How did your life change after the Germans entered your town? What, what happened?

From the beginning, like this, this was a traumatic thing.


Because we left the house, we didn't know what to do, you know. It was a terrible thing. Like we see that, you see, like we see that pictures what was happening in Vietnam, you see the women going there, the people leaving the houses. That's what we did. We didn't, we didn't know what to do. We were lost, you know, so we left also the house for two days. I went to my parents, how far was it, with my sister-in-law because we were so scared. But after that, when the, when the German already came, you know...


...we're still, we're in my parents' house and my father went in the morning out, and he came back and he said, the Germans are here already. Because it was very quiet, you know. They, they already arrived, you know, this was few days after that. Come and. They're staying on the big green plac, you know, they are staying there. So I said, so we, after the breakfast we went there to see. So there's this German, they were mostly young boys. Hundreds, they were washing, shaving. We look at them, they are like boys, like our boys, you know. They are smiling, some of them they're talking German. I answer to them, they were happy to... Do you know, so I said to them, you know, they look so nice, they are so nice talking to you, maybe they are not so bad, you know.

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