Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eugene Feldman - July 15, 1991

Outbreak of War

Do you remember how you found out the war had started?

The war started?

You were twelve when the war started?

When the war started actually I was less than that, because

When the Russians came.

the war started in '39.

So do you remember when the Russian came into your village?

I remember the Russians came in. I was happy they came in. That much I remember. I--why? First of all they... Okay, when the Polocks were there, they could call you Zyd. That's more like a slang for Jews. When the Russians came in, you had to have respect. You couldn't call somebody Zyd. That was a crime. If they would call me in school I would go and tell the principal and they would con...get punished for that. I liked that. They got, they had to call you Yivreh. It's a little more respectful. Number two, they gave you land. They gave my dad a, about two, three, I don't know how many--they gave him some acres of land that he worked for himself. For the--I guess what they did they took estate state land or something, state-owned land and just split up among the farmers, gave 'em extra. Because nobody had anything except the garden. It was such a funny village that I never saw anything growing except the garden. It was a lot of land there, but just like marshing, ju...marsh. Or horse--horses and cows would feed you know, would graze on it.

Do you remember the Russian soldiers? Did soldiers come?

I remember, I think I remember very little that. I remember only the Russian soldiers after you know, in 1944--'45.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn