Oral History

Lucine Horn describes obtaining false papers to assume the identity of an "Aryan" outside the Warsaw ghetto

Lucine was born to a Jewish family in Lublin. Her father was a court interpreter and her mother was a dentist. War began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Lucine's home was raided by German forces shortly thereafter. Soon after the German occupation of Lublin, Jews there were forced to wear a compulsory badge identifying them as Jews. A ghetto in Lublin was closed off in January 1942. Lucine survived a series of killing campaigns and deportations from the ghetto during March and April of the same year. Those who held valid labor cards were moved to a new ghetto in April 1942—the Majdan Tatarski ghetto, near the Majdanek killing center. Lucine escaped from Majdan Tatarski in November 1942, the month the Germans liquidated the ghetto. She eventually made her way to Warsaw where she first entered the ghetto and then went into hiding on the "Aryan" side.


Uh, there were priests in, um, in churches that were selling birth certificates of somebody more or less the same age as I was, of people that died and maybe their death wasn't registered properly. And I could obtain a, a birth certificate of that person and therefore I would assume the identity of that person. And if I would have a real certificate, birth certificate from a church, I could go to a, uh, office, a German office, which, which issues—there was a Kenn...called a Kennkarte [identity card], it was like a passport, and everybody had to have that, and I can obtain, if I have enough guts, I can obtain this paper, which will, which I would need to, to, to show them that I am an Aryan, which really I did. This, this what happened: they were helping me to, to try to maintain my identity as an Aryan, and I went to this office and I got my, my paper, so I became this, this Lucina Stryevska [ph], who actually was three years or four years older than I was, but I had to assume her birth date. And I was her.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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