Oral History

Felix Horn describes attempt to flee from the Majdan Tatarski ghetto

Felix was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Lublin, Poland. His father was a locksmith and his mother was a singer. Following the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Felix fled east to Rovno and then to Soviet-occupied Lvov, where he was accepted at a medical school. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Felix was taken to a labor camp. He escaped and returned to Lublin, and found that his family had been forced into the ghetto established there. After the liquidation of the Lublin ghetto, Felix, his sister, and his future wife Lucine were sent to the Majdan Tatarski ghetto. Felix, Lucine, and her brother escaped and hid, eventually fleeing to the Warsaw ghetto, where Felix and Lucine were married. They escaped to the "Aryan" side of Warsaw and obtained false papers. Felix worked for the underground during the Warsaw Polish uprising in 1944. He and Lucine were liberated by Soviet forces in January 1945. They immigrated to the United States in October 1950.


And prior to liquidation of the ghetto, few days before, I did try to escape. We did know that the ghetto would be liquidated completely, and I tried to run away. And, going under the barbed wire, the Ukrainians were shooting at me, I was running like a wild beast. And they wouldn't have caught me if it not the police dog. He grabbed me, forgive my French, by my buttock, ripped a piece of flesh out my calf, and subdued me. I was bleeding all over, and then I was caught by the Ukrainian guards. They brought me back to the ghetto and handed over to the Gestapo and they started beating me up. They were beating me standing behind me, with a, we call it a "pach." What it is actually it's a handle with a, made out of leather, hard leather, at the end of which, like a whip actually, was a hard metal ball with points on it. Standing behind me he was hitting me in the front, so he was injuring my face, actually, standing behind me. And I 'til today have a little scar, and I 'til today, I am impaired vision in the left eye. I was bleeding from the eye, but I couldn't go to a phys...to a doctor, of course. I was staying like this 'til about two days later, when finally the ghetto was liquidated, when I escaped again with Lucine, my future wife, and her little brother under the barbed wire.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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