Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984

Leaving the City

They need--orders coming, German soldiers and taking things, buying things and don't paying me nothing, you know. And I was very upset about it. So I went to the commissar, again the, the officer. I didn't have armband at the time and I told him that I am--my husband, I am alone and I have to keep up three children because my sister-in-law children, me. I, I have to keep up and I can't give away. They come to the store and they take things, and then don't pay because the Star of David. I said why they should pay? What is it? He said, listen, you, you let me know right away when something's there and we come there and straighten them out. But what happened, how I could send or, or, call them? I don't think so. I had a telephone, but I didn't have the telephone, I didn't bother, you know. Once one came, two came to the store and I told them, listen, I was there in uh, in the, I talked to an officer and he said that he is going to arrest you. You can't take it for nothing, you have to pay because I have to pay also. So he took a revolver and he said, you Jewess you, you, you, I shoot you when you say one word. You be happy that I am taking for nothing, because you are not going to use this anyhow 'cause you are not going to be here longer, long time anymore. So, I close my mouth and that's all. But later probably those soldiers already left the town, so it was quiet.

Did you still have much uh, Gentile business coming in after you had to put up the Mogen Dovid and after the Germans came in?

Yes, yes. They had to buy, so they have to come, yeah, yeah. They were coming, they were coming. The customers were nice. The customers were nice, they were very friendly, they were very nice. Of course, they are between them people what they wouldn't come, you know. They were, they, they didn't go to Jewish stores anymore. But some of them they, they were nice. Yeah.

How long did you stay in your apartment?

In my apartment... We moved, I think, in 1939, 19...yeah. In 1940... Wait a minute, I will tell you. Ghetto in '41. Yeah, yeah, I stayed 'til 19...uh, '40, 'til 1940 in the apartment. And later they put again, announcement. It's always under--oh no, later they put announcement about the uh, armbands.


So we have to wear the armband. But I didn't wear all the time. I, I went without when I went to the town, you know. Nobody recognize me. But only who would know me, you know. But later they put again that all the Jews, that they are going to make ghetto in Krakow, in Podgorze. But the Jews can go, can move to ghetto or can move outside the city.


You know?


But they can't live in Krakow, you know. In Krakow or in Podgorze. So we decided that we move outside. We didn't want to go to ghetto. So my husband, this time he moved the business outside Krakow. Not far, maybe a half an hour from outside Krakow. Like Farmington Hills, you know.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn