Interview #29 • January 24, 1988
(Running times are approximate)
Reviewer: Diane Bareis
Born: October 18, 1912, Lubling, Poland.
Household included his parents, two sisters and one brother. They were a religious family and supported the Zionist movement.
7:00 Moshe was a law student until 1939. In September 1939 the Germans invated. Moshe was in Warsaw and returned to Lubling. The Germans looted the stores and Moshe watched his friend as he was shot and killed by the Germans.
12:00 Anyone who was 14 to 60 years old had to work for the Germans.
He talks about midnight raids when Germans would search for specific Jews.
16:00 In January 1940, leaders of the community were forced to stand in the snow in bare feet.
19:00 A ghetto was established toward the end of 1940 Germans locked up the houses of Jews; most had to move to the ghetto without their possessions. Moshe’s family found one room to share.
One day as he walked from his ghetto home, he came upon a German who commanded that he stop. Moshe was beaten by the German and knocked unconscious. He spent two weeks recovering. Day after day the Jews were maltreated.
27:00 1942. The Nazis met and determined that the ghetto was not enough. The Jews needed to be exterminated and Lubling was one of the first cities on the list.
The ghetto was taken over by the Germans. People were beat, brought to the train station by force. After several days, all of the Jews had been removed from the city.
31:00 Moshe shares commentaries on the event as reported in two books.
35:00 Moshe and his family escaped from the ghetto to the rail station. They jumped onto a moving train and arrived in Warsaw. The moved into the Warsaw ghetto, found a place to live. His sister and brother-in-law were there.
43:30 Bribes had to be paid in order to sneak provisions into the ghetto. Every few weeks the ghetto boundaries were compressed. The ghetto was becoming smaller.
Most of the Warsaw Jews were taken to Treblinka, which was only three hours away. The trip, however, extended for three days without food or water.
48:00 In an attempted escape from the train, Moshe was shot. He lost a finger from the injury.
Discussion about death camps did occur in the ghetto.
55:00 Moshe’s brother was one of the organizers of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He discusses the event.
58:00 Surviving Jews were taken to Treblinka. A guard threatened to shoot Moshe; one of his sisters bribed the guard with money and a gold ring not to shoot.
He discusses the practice of “selection.”
1:01:00 Mengele is mentioned.
300 young people were selected to go to Midonik in or near Lubling.
250 were sent to a concentration camp called (Budzyn) (sp?).
1:05:00 Discussion of the camp hospital.
1:10:00 Talks about soap that was made from the ashes of the crematorium.
1:12:00 As the Russians approached, prisoners in the Polish camps (around Lubling) were transferred to other camps.
1:18:00 1944. Was transferred to a camp in Germany, not far from Stuttgart.
After liberation Moshe could not say that God had kept him alive. He could not bless God.
The only thing that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. The Germans were the criminals. The countries that did not destroy the railways that lead to camps also carry some of the guilt.