Oral History

Judith Meisel describes smuggling food as a child into the Kovno ghetto

Upon her father's death, Judith and her family moved to Kovno. Soon, they were confined to the ghetto, which the Germans formed in 1941. Judith, her mother and sister were deported to Stutthof, where her mother died. Judith and her sister escaped from a death march out of Stutthof. They posed as non-Jews, found farm work and eventual refuge in Denmark. Their brother survived Dachau.


And then we came to a place with barbed wire and it became the ghetto, which was known under several--the Kovno ghetto and--but we really knew it as Slobodka ghetto, the ghetto of Slobodka. And there we stayed and food became very, very scarce and...uh...uh...there was a...um...man by the name of Motke. And to these days, I wish I had any kind of connection with those people. I don't know what ever happened to them. Um...he taught...uh...he picked certain children who were blue-eyed, blond, and decided we didn't look Jewish, like people thought Jews should look, and...and he told us that if we are to survive we are to smuggle food into the ghetto. So people gave me some valuables and he opened up a...um...barbed wire...um...with his pliers he showed how to open up the barbed wire and escape through it from the ghetto and then tell us where we could go and get food. I can remember carrying butter and bread in my underwear to bring back to the ghetto and to going through the sentry and being afraid.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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