Oral History

Vladka (Fagele) Peltel Meed describes waiting at a train station with false documents to be smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto

Vladka belonged to the Zukunft youth movement of the Bund (the Jewish Socialist party). She was active in the Warsaw ghetto underground as a member of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB). In December 1942, she was smuggled out to the Aryan, Polish side of Warsaw to try to obtain arms and to find hiding places for children and adults. She became an active courier for the Jewish underground and for Jews in camps, forests, and other ghettos.


Of course at that time I had I remember uh documents from and pictures from the Jews to make false documents and also letters and everything I was hiding under in mine pack, but on the back was a double collar, and I was hiding these things, and on top of this I had three chicks...little that...little chicks, chickens, very young ones, that I am a smuggler, and I was sitting at the railroad station waiting and I didn't have any um permission to ride on trains. I had always to bribe as a smuggler, but I was prepared to bribe, but what do you do sitting on a station. Like all the other smugglers, I, I bought a glass of beer, a big glass of beer and was sitting and and with mine pack and suddenly I saw that the Polish railroad master starts checking the documents of those who...and it was for me a little bit suspicious. Why does he start in the middle of the night doing this? And I understood right away. A Gestapo man in the German uniform which is the SS, with two civilians came in, and it's why he wants to show that everything is in order, so...very orderly, but if he comes to me, er it would be terrible. I don't have any documents. I cannot even bribe him at that particular moment, because they are in already, and they sit down at a table not far from me, and I was quite uncomfortable and probably mine uncomfort was uh showing, but I was young and it was summertime and I think probably I did look not bad. One of the German, the Gestapo person, stood up, went to mine table and told me, "You little one. If I sit down here, he will not come over to you." And I was sitting there and he starts laughing. I said, "Of course not. Who will come over to you, looking such a handsome man?" And he start talking with me, and I was thinking, mine goodness, if you only will not see what I have here, but the little chickens...you know, chickens, chickens...but he start laughing when they made noise. He thought that I am a small little smuggler, and later on he told me, "Where are you going?" and I said, "I am going to Warsaw and I came from mine grandmother and she gave me something for mine parents." Um "Do you have a ticket?" I said, "No. I cannot buy now." [He] said " I will buy you the ticket, but we will make a date in Warsaw." I said, "Of course we will make a date in Warsaw," and the train came and he took me to the train as a gentleman, and the two other were laughing and he was just having good time flirting with a young Polish girl, and while I came in into the train, I heard two Polish women saying, "Oh, you see, if you have somebody like this you can always be true to get through without difficulties."


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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