Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eugene Feldman - July 15, 1991


The following is an interview with Mr. Eugene Feldman at his home in Oak Park, Michigan on the evening of July 15, 1991. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Uh, could you tell me your name please, and where you were born?

Eugene Feldman. I was born in Poland--at that time it was Poland, anyway--in a little, little village Glinka, it's near Stolin.

Um, and during the war--where were you during the war?

During the war? During the war we were around that area too. That's where we were hiding.

You were in hiding.

Well, first we were in the ghetto in Stolin. They put us in the ghetto. And then of--we went back to work my dad and I and a lot of other people went to work digging uh, turf for the Germans.

And then you...

Which took us back to our little village, because that's where it was.

And then you wound up in the forest.

And my, my mom and my sis...two sisters were in the ghetto. They stayed in the ghetto. And uh, after awhile, they, they told us to go back to the ghetto. And that's when they started killing everybody. Of course, we didn't know what the reason for. But there was rumors that they're going to start killing. Just nobody wanted to admit it. I remember we were going back, we were walking. It's about ten miles from our village to Stolin, where the ghetto was. Naturally everybody was walking, but there was no way to get there any other way, anyway. Some, I remember my dad was there, my uncle. Two uncles. My dad says, "Let's not go back because they're probably going to kill us all there." So I started crying. Of course, I was only twelve then ???. I says, "What am I going to tell mom? What do you mean you're not coming back?" So, I guess, I don't know, I guess I convinced him--he, he went back. My uncles didn't go--one of my uncles didn't go back. And my u...my uncles, my real uncle, my dad's brother, he says, "I'm going back. If God wants me to die, I'm gonna die." He was real religious. He believed strictly in God. Of course he died. But uh, my o...other uncle, he didn't go. And, it's actually my aunt's husband. He didn't go. Anyway, there's a long story with him. His son, the one that survived with us. In the ghetto when they started to kill in the ghetto, I didn't know anything about it but my dad was digging a hole for himself to hide because they knew they're coming in the morning to take everybody, more likely to kill 'em. So he dug himself a little hole in a shanty. A wood shanty or whatever it was, if, if I remember right, just big enough for himself. So my cousin Osher, the one that uh, his, his father didn't go back, he said to dad, "Hey can I come with you in the hole?" He says, "No, the hole is too small. Take Eugene and mom and go into that attic in the house." So he came to me he says, "Let's go to the attic and to mom." So we did. What happened to my three sisters, I never know. I still don't know. They weren't around. I must have been real dumb that time. I never saw 'em. I don't know what happened to them. So just uh, three of us went to the attic. The Germans came into the house naturally, got everybody out. I didn't see my sisters getting out. They must have been playing somewhere and they got caught, because they were only little kids, even younger than me. And they came to the house. In fact one of 'em s...said to the other guy, eh, "Let's go into the attic, maybe there's something there, maybe somebody's hiding." So the other one said to him. "What are you stupid? Who's going to hide down there, it's so obvious." Sure as hell we were down there, and they didn't go. They didn't go up. Meanwhile, they were busy robbing and taking things out of that house. I guess that's what, really the main thing is they were too busy taking things out now. It was not the Germans. It was--they were White Russians, Ukrainians. They were--it wasn't the Germans. They were worse than the Germans. I have no use for the Polocks and the... No use whatsoever. So anyway, after that, that... When night came my dad came out of that hole and everybody, all the Jews were out already. I don't know what happened to them, but they were out of the ghetto. They took 'em out of the ghetto. Dad came up and he says, "Come on down." So we came all down, because the Germans were not in the ghetto anymore. The ghetto was empty. A few Jews hiding I assume. He says, "We better leave tonight." I mean, "there is no other night. Tonight. Either we leave tonight or that's it. Because to...tomorrow they'll be back and really clean up the place." So we waited when the guard was passing by the barbed wire. And we just went right through the bar...barbed wire. On the way there we saw bodies laying around. They were shot I guess right on the spot. But we got through the wires and just continued going back to the village where we were born. It's about, like I said, ten miles. My dad is, he's not--he was--he, he knew his way around. He's a you know, he lived rough all his life, so he didn't have to have all kind of fancy good. A lot of the people, we could hear 'em ye...wa...other ones got away with it too. We could hear a bunch of people that got away from the ghetto too--survived. But they were so stupid, you could hear 'em a mile away. I don't understand what happened. I'm sure they did not survive. As far as I know nobody survived from that area.

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