Oral History

Frima L. describes surviving as a young child on her own

While Frima's family was confined to a ghetto, Nazis used her father as an interpreter. He later perished. By pretending not to be Jews, Frima, her mother, and sister escaped a German mobile killing unit massacre. They were later discovered and jailed. Again, her mother devised an escape. Frima's mother and sister were smuggled to Romania, while Frima wandered in search of safekeeping until her mother could arrange to smuggle her out. They were reunited in Romania and liberated there.

Transcript

My mother had left before...but before she left she told me that she has to go away with my sister and she gave me a hundred rubles and she told me that...uh...in the springtime this gentleman whom I knew will come and he'll bring me back to my mother. That it's only going to be a little while and...uh...I'm safer staying with this lady and her grandchildren here. My mother left, but before she did I cried. And I said, "I have a headache. Don't leave me." But she said she has to go. I guess I understood. And so she gave me the hundred rubles and I remained in the lady's house. With her grandchildren, I used to play. After two weeks the lady became a little panicky and she was really afraid to keep a Jewish child in the house because...uh...the Germans notify everyone that if a Jew is found in their house that their house will be burned and the family will be killed. You know, this whole thing. So she was really afraid. And so she...uh...she told me I had to leave her house two weeks later. Well, at that time I was infested already with lice because nobody gave me a bath and I slept in the same clothes and I lived in the same clothes and I lived in that pantry with the mice. And so, I walked out of the house. And the first thing I did was go into a...uh...toy store...a religious articles store, and I bought a big cross and I spend my hundred rubles. And then, I was so infested with the lice that my head, my skin was all rashes and bloody from scratching it so much. And so I felt that I really needed help and I remembered this lady whom my parents were friendly with and I remembered that we used to visit them every so often. They lived quite a bit outside the city. I didn't remember the address and I didn't remember the name. But I just remember how we used to walk. And I...that's how I walked. And I made it to the house. And it was winter and cold and the snow was...uh...snow maybe five, six inches of snow. And I made it to her house and as I got to her gate...uh...her dog started barking so she came out to see who was at the gate and she sees me and she says, "My God, come in quick. Come in quick." And she takes me to her barns because
obviously she must have noticed that I have lice crawling all over me. So she wouldn't take me into her house but she took me into the barn and she...quickly she took off my clothes and put on other clothes and she said to me, "Where are your parents?" I said, "Everybody is killed. Everybody is dead." Because I wanted her to have pity on me. And so she did.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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