The resettling of Jews from Gora Kalwaria to the Warsaw ghetto

The resettling of Jews from Gora Kalwaria to the Warsaw ghetto
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  • Photo taken in:
    Gora Kalwaria
    Year when photo was taken:
    1941
    Country name at time of photo:
    General Government, 1939-1945
    Country name today:
    Poland
This is a photo taken on 25th February 1941 in Gora Kalwaria. That day all Jews from Gora Kalwaria were resettled to the Warsaw ghetto. The ghetto in Gora Kalwaria was created in May 1940. Things were already very bad at the time. They evicted the Jews from the outskirts of Gora Kalwaria, the ghetto was right in the center of the town: the Pilsudskiego and Senatorska streets, and a short section of Pijarska Street. We all had to squeeze in somehow. My family was not evicted, because it was already ghetto where we lived on Pilsudskiego Street. Leaving the ghetto was forbidden on the death penalty. Mom and I continued to sew, we had clients coming, some Poles, they commissioned clothes and we could make some money, just to get by. Plus we still had some supplies, we were always selling something. Yes, but what kind of life it was?! Vegetation, we couldn't afford anything, just the potatoes all the time, potato soup, there was nothing else. On 25th February 1941 they deported the Jews from Gora Kalwaria to the ghetto in Warsaw. My sister was already there, she hadn't come back to Gora Kalwaria with the outbreak of the war. Mom didn't even think of escaping, and me neither, I wanted to go to the ghetto with my family. The neighbors would come over and say 'Listen, run away, go, you don't look like a Jew, maybe you'll make it.' I heard there were Jews in Magnuszew - there was this sort of grapevine during the occupation - and that there are no deportations there. And so I basically ran away in the evening, after a talk with Mom. I don't know what happened to my family. I lost contact with them on that day. They were gone without a trace. Only my brother came to me later on. Lots of people left the ghetto then, everyone tried not to surrender.

Interview details

Interviewee: Henryk Prajs
Interviewer:
Aleksandra Bankowska
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2005
Gora Kalwaria, Poland

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Date of interview:
1997

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