Oral History

Abraham Lewent describes food shortages after the invasion of Warsaw

Like other Jews, the Lewents were confined to the Warsaw ghetto. In 1942, as Abraham hid in a crawl space, the Germans seized his mother and sisters in a raid. They perished. He was deployed for forced labor nearby, but escaped to return to his father in the ghetto. In 1943, the two were deported to Majdanek, where Abraham's father died. Abraham later was sent to Skarzysko, Buchenwald, Schlieben, Bisingen, and Dachau. US troops liberated Abraham as the Germans evacuated prisoners.


When the war broke out, there, the water was cut off. There was no gas in the house to cook anything. There was no food. So my father used to go out once in a while and we used to get some bread or the necessary things. And I remember for a couple weeks, we lived just on sour pickles because not far where we used to live, a couple streets further was a factory, they used to produce pickles. A Polish factory. And they used...they call it "Origi...Original," and they used to have the pickles in, in tins like...small tins, and large ones. As I found out. So I went with a friend of mine and somehow we got into that building in the night, even when the bombs were falling and we used to run in the middle of the night, and we grabbed about six or eight cans, about five pounds, and we dragged it home, and this we lived for a couple of weeks. Just on pickles, and once in a while we got bread.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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