Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984


All right.

Yeah. They, they, were sent away in 1942. On first day of June. I never forget the day. And my brother was a young boy, eighteen years old. He left uh, he left Poland in, I think it was '39, in 1940, the beginning, in 1940 they invade, and the Germans came and they uh, and they uh, put the announcement that all the Jewish people have to wear that uh, armband. My brother said, no, I'm not going to wear any armband. And when somebody believes that, that it's, that this is the stop, I don't believe. I, I'm not staying here. And he left for Wirowek you know, another uh, you know... how you call this ???, you know, I don't know it, you know. I can't explain. In another city, in another city it's under Russian. So he went there, of course, with other young men. They were going. And he never came back, because he died of typhus. He was sent to Siberia, because I sent him a package there in 1942 I think, beginning. And uh, he never came back, because after a year in Siberia, he got uh, he--they free him, you know, and he went to Afghanistan someplace, very hot, and there he died of typhus, like other, other people. So that was my family, my close family. And other cousins and uncles and all of, all of them, mostly perished. I have only few relatives left in Israel. That's all I got.

Before the war, can you tell me what, what the Jewish community was like in Krakow?

Very large Jewish community, sure it was very large. There were, I don't know how many, there were, I, I think, Krakow was a beautiful city and there are lots of Jews. And those Jews were mostly, like I said to say, not extremely educated, but they were intelligent, they were educated. Mostly the Jews in Krakow were, even they were religious with those, you know. Like I said the orthodox, you know, dressed in special uh, attire. They still talk beautiful Polish. You were surprised. And the--beautiful Polish, you know. And uh, it was a big, big, it was beautiful there, I don't know. Yeah. Listen, I, I was a young girl, I really didn't have much to do with uh, you know, I was still young, you know, before the war. I had different interests. And I was...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn