Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eugene Feldman - July 15, 1991

Introduction II

But you went into these marshlands.

That's when we went into it. It's only--from our village, the marsh, the marsh is our home. It may be two miles away.

And you hid there.

And we hid down there and stayed there, we--of course, winter was coming on, we had to do something. So we built out of straw, wood and straw, a nice little hut, probably six foot by ten foot. And there were... Well, actually, originally we were only four. Then our, then a--we were in touch with certain people when we lived there. Somebody we knew from the village. They didn't turn us in, they just helped us a little bit. So they ran into--how many more Jews--some more Jews. A doctor, his wife and a dentist. And they said maybe we can take 'em in, because otherwise they have no place to go. They'll--the Germans will find 'em. So what are we going to do, we'll, took 'em in. So we, about--how many? I don't even remember how many people went in there. About eight or ten of us were sleeping in abo...right one next to the other one in one little room.

Okay, let's...

Of course, we had the burn heat. We didn't have a chimney because they would see the smoke out. So we just had to lay, lay real low and the smoke would go through the door. Almost choke on it, but it kept us sort of warm. Well, and finally we stayed there I would say a good year. We used to go to our own fields. Dig our potatoes. We lived mostly on potatoes. We knew exactly what to do, how to survive. Let's uh, let's say my dad knew how to survive. There was no question of our survival, unless we get caught. Like I say, we all come from a village we never had anything so, we don't have now. What's the difference?

Okay, we'll come back to talk about this, but you were liberated then...

Not 'til a long time later.

But in--still in the forest.

We're still in the forest now. We stayed there for about a year and a half, like I said. All of a sudden--it's funny though, how things come up--I, one night I was, I dreamt my mother, my real mother--this is my stepmother, the one that just died recently. My mother died when I was only four years old or whatever. She comes to me and she says, you gotta leave this place. It shook me up a little bit. I was only twelve, whatever. But it shook me up. Mom--when she--I dream about her I take things a little bit seriously for some reason. So I went over to dad, I said "Dad, I just dreamed about mom, she says we gotta leave this house or the shanty whatever you want to call it." So he says "Ah, it's just a dream." Of course, it's just a dream, I sa...and who, who's going you know, you don't go leaving a place that's already established like what you call. We had food already prepared, potatoes and all that. So what happens? That evening, that evening a woman comes from that--our contact. We had a contact about two miles away. Oh yeah, that's what I missed. That contact, the doctor, that's, they the ones that gave us the doctors. So the doctors, they are too, they're not used to rough life. They said, "We gotta go everyday to that house. We gotta stay in a house a couple hou...we're going crazy staying in this," you know, the smoke you know. It's a rough life. So we t...I said, my dad says, "Okay, if you go there, don't go--don't make a path. Go today with this. Go the other way next day and so on because it was wintertime. Do not make a path." Because if anything happened, people will you know, if you m...make a path people will just accidentally follow that path and go some--they think it takes them to their village. But they wouldn't listen. They made a path. Without our knowledge what happened is one of the people did come right to our, to our house at night. We didn't know anything about it. And he went, of course, he didn't say anything, he went back. The one that we had a contract with, that woman, that was her brother. She came to us and she says, "He's going to turn you in. You better leave right now." He did turn us in that, that son of a gun. He brought 'em--we wouldn't have known, he brought 'em that night. But they couldn't find us, it was too dark. I understand they beat him up because they couldn't find the place, because at night they couldn't find it. So she came running at that night and she says, "My brother turned you in. You're lucky. They, they didn't find you. But they will find you tomorrow. You better leave." We did. We had to de...destroy--demolish that house. We had to take her word for it. I mean you know, we didn't know it, but we took her word for it. We left early in the morning. About an hour after we left, two hours, we were already in regular woods. We could hear explosions. What they did, they threw grenades into that place. He did bring 'em over there. So shows you how they are, those White Russians or Ukrainians, they're worse than the Germans.

Of course the woman...

Okay, in that case the question was, she was protecting herself or what? Because if they you know, the whole family would be destroyed if y...if they ca...you know, if they catch you. But there were very, very few that would help. We didn't need their help really.



we go back and talk about...

That's when we left there. We went in the real woods. We got--so we started digging a place to live in you know. Because there, there is no, no way you can build it. They'll see a building in the distance because the woods are not as thick as that, that was there. And we couldn't stay long enough because the woods-- people do go through the woods. So we had to continue walking and changing place as it were. Wandering around. We didn't stay long. And finally we went to the partisans. Somebody told us that the partisans are about twenty miles further down. And that's where we wound up, with the partisans. We didn't fight. We were too young to fight. But we were under their supervision.

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