Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eugene Feldman - July 15, 1991

Relations with Non-Jews

How many, how many Jews--what percentage of the town were Jews, of the village were Jews?

I think the whole Jewish--the village and the, the Jews in the village were, were all related. I, I know my, my aunt was one--about three aunts were all living down there. They all were related. Not necessarily just aunts, maybe a little bit further like a cousin, but that's it. The whole, how many, I bet--I think it was about fifteen houses of Jews and probably it was about fifty-sixty houses of non-Jews. It's just a small little farming, farming village.

So did you have anything to do with non-Jews? Your family, did they interact?

Well, you gotta go to school. You go to school with uh, with non-Jews. Yeah and I'm, I'm going to tell about the non-Jews, my schoolmates.

Tell me.

That's why--like I said, when we were in the woods there, in the marshes, whatever you want to call it, not the real big woods, we didn't have, we did not set up yet, we did not set up ourselves. For some reason, there was suspicion that they're Jews in that woods, in the woods. They all were s...sort of suspicious, but it was hard to find 'em. So my mates, my school friends, whatever you want to call 'em, they were looking for us to kill us. They were--I would say maybe a hundred feet from us because we could hear every word they said. I recognized every one of them. But it was so thick, they couldn't see ten feet away, but we could hear 'em real loud and clear that they came to... That's the way I feel about those goddamn Polocks.

Before the war...

Before the war they never liked Jews anyway.

So when you went to school was there trouble between you and...

Yeah, always, there was always trouble. There's always some resentment that you're Jewish.

Do you remember any specific incidents, or any?

Oh, okay, there's one incident. I, I even embarrassed to say that one, to tell that one. I must have been five--six, I don't know, real, real small, or seven. A farmer was across the street from us. Well, across from us, it's not, there is no streets, we live or whatever. Or next to is... He said--he had a kid with him, probably my age, about my age I would say. And he g...gave him a bat you know, like some kind of stick or a ba...uh, you know, a baseball bat, something similar to that, and he says to him, "Go hit that Jew." That's meaning--meant me. And that kid came and hit me in the head with it, without nothing, just... And he ran away. Out of the blue. That's how they, they, they just... You're Jewish...

So when that happened...

And I didn't do anything about it.

Did you tell your parents?



If I would tell my parents, because one time it happened, my daddy had a temper. He would kill him or he would get killed. My dad wouldn't take anything from nobody. He has a terrible, terrible temper. One time as kids, we were in a cheder, we had a cheder. I remember that, about twelve--thirteen kids in the cheder. And we were right next to a pasture where there's little calves you know, were, were grazing. Cows. So what did, what did the kids do, they go chasing calves, what are they going to do. So I ran chasing calves and grabbed one by the tail and running. And the owner was there and he caught me. He didn't do anything hard you know, just I think maybe hit, spanked me a little bit or whatever. But my dad saw it. I thought he's going to kill him. He grabbed a hammer, you know. Those uh, we had a... I mean, really, really he was, they were going to kill each other down there. So you had to be very careful, he was very protective of the kids. He's, he was a little guy and the goyim are you know, they're six footers. But he would... No, he wouldn't take it. Just like I wouldn't take anything my kids getting hurt.

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