Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Dorfman - August 11 & 25, 1989

Labor in Ghetto

This is Meyer now.

Meyer. Yeah. We created--they're called ??? ??? you would say, like, he said that he needs between three and four hundred Jews out from the ghetto to work in the fields. Because those fields belonged to, be...belonged to a baron, you understand. Like in Poland you had all those uh, uh, uh, eh...


Aristocrat and you had uh, like in England, you know, what do you call it eh, the--what is in England, I mean, the noble people?

The nobility.


The lords.

The lords. In, in Germany you had the vons. In Poland the same thing. In Poland you had, they called it Pritzem, Puretz. And we were dealing with that, with that particular nobleman for about my grand...grand...grandfather, and everyone had--I mean, had his own Jew. Everything but--he sold, was going through my, we were like workers. If it was cattle, cattle, we bought ourselves some cattle or, or grain or, or, or eh, wood eh, whatever, fish. So he knew my father very well that, that my, my--and uh, and he created. And he took out about three, four hundred Jews from the ghetto. He could not--you had to be, you, you had to be fifteen years old or sixteen years old and over. Not, not, no women, very few women, younger girls and so for and so on. And we were digging ditches. I mean, where they had swamps or where, you know. And we had part over there, at least we had food. We had ni...we had quarters. You know, we were sleeping, sleeping in the barns on straw, but at least there was--you could walk around, you know. Whatever, so you were a slave, so what. This was already excellent. We were there a few months. And uh, what happened is my mother did not want to go with the kids. The first thing--we had to have a separate place, some place to hide her, you understand, which that particular Meyer wanted to do it. He wanted to put us in to one of his workers, which we were hidden later on to take mother and, and, and the little kids. He even wanted to take the little girl, my little sister, two years old, three, three years old, that he's going to send her away to Germany. I mean, you know, to his things and save her. It was a very much of a struggle, my mother said, No, we all the Jews are going to go, I'm going to go." She was bright, but I don't think if she understood life uh, as well, because I was for it, father was for it. My little brother and the eight year old one, he wanted to get out of there so bad you wouldn't believe it, from the ghetto. He was with us a few weeks.

What was his name?

Srika. Israel. I, I have the whole plaque in Sharey Zedek from the Holocaust. It says Holocaust, you know. I have my whole family. I put that plaque on a few years ago. But...

Your mother's name, what was her name?


And her maiden name?

Greenberg, Greenberg. My daughter, my Gail is after her, is, is named after her. Gail, Greeka. Greeka was Greek. But she was very, you know, on the religious side. She just in, when we in Kozienice she, she met her, her family from, from my grandfather's, from the shochet's side. One of the daughters where we were married my father later on after the war. She lives in Israel still. So we uh, she didn't want to go, make the story short and--we got home and she was sending letters and this and that, because people were going back and forth. My father was going back and forth too into the ghetto--in, out-- because he was bring, bringing in food. He took risks, no doubt about it. But he was brave. I did not go. I stayed there. I says, "Dad, I don't want go in back to that ghetto." But before--so she ordered we should come home, that was before Rosh Hashanah, you know, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur. We should come home for Rosh Hashanah. Everybody comes home and it--it was getting like a little easier, you understand, in, in the, in that big ghetto. So finally, me and my father we told the that--and there was three or four hundred Jews working there and everybody was alive. We had food to eat everything and we went in for, for Rosh Hashanah to Kozienice to the big ghetto to see mom and the kids. And father had a plan, we had a plan and I think she was already agreeing--he told me about a week to ten days before--that we going to have a place, we're going to take them out and put them in there and hide them. And, uh...

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