This section features the true experiences of Holocaust Survivors we see and visit today. This is to fulfill their requests,
“Remember us! Tell others of our experiences so we are not forgotten!”
(Caution: True accounts, as related by the Survivor, may be difficult to read)
Michael was part of a large family, 4 brothers and 1 sister. When war came their father took them to escape through Ukraine to the forest. They were a well known family in the entire area. Someone saw them leave and informed the police that they fled. The police found them and stopped them; they returned them to their home and told them they were not to leave.
Two days later German Nazis knocked on the door, took all of them to the railway station five kilometers away, all tied together. The train took them to a camp. When they arrived people were being herded into pits and were being shot. His father cut the barbed wire fence and pushed the children through. He told them to run to the forest. They did what their father told them to do and on entering the forest, they met a man who was like a policeman. This man gave them food and a place to sleep. They also met their one brother in the forest and were happy to be together again.
Michael’s grandmother was well known in the area as a kerosene seller and the children were recognized so they had to leave again and could not stay in that place. They decided to return to their hometown. Most if the Jews were gone now. Those who were left grouped together, shared their bread and cooked for everyone together. Michael stayed and helped them.
Michael’s one brother had studied in Lvov and was only 28 yrs old then. He was taken into the Russian Army and was then captured by the Nazis. He escaped from them and joined the partisans fighting in the forest. After that Michael never saw him again.
Michael’s second brother and was taken into the Russian Red Army. Like many soldiers in the Red Army, he never came back.
Now Michael was alone again and stayed with the organization there. In the forest nearby the Russians took the sick people and delivered arms to fight against the Nazis. However, the organization he was with now turned into bandits and he did not want to stay any longer; he wanted to leave. So, he got on a train. There were other children on the train, traveling alone like him. Then the authorities took all the children traveling alone off the train and put them in an orphanage.
Michael remained in that orphanage for 4 or 5 years and finished elementary school there. He began studies to be a veterinary.
Michael never saw his sister, brothers and parents again. They were all killed in the war. After the war Michael worked for 40 years in the agricultural part of the Ukraine.