A group of some thirty men, women and children: We settled down in the 56th division, one of the biggest swamps in the forest, an area that in normal times no human would enter. One morning at 4 A.M. when almost all were in a deep slumber, a sudden heavy volley of fire was directed at us by the gendarmerie of Rytwiany, that Bublik, the warden of the church forest had brought. The attack was so sudden that very few managed to escape; among those, Abale Winzigster and two children, Zalman Boim's daughter and Moishe the butcher's daughter who lived in the house of Ephraim Singer. May the Almighty exact just retribution for their murder. Three days later, at night, a group of six of us went back there. We lit a memorial candle, buried our fallen brothers, and after reciting Kaddish, left the bloody field. Several days later, we wandered from place to place to seek a safe haven. We were a group of four or five Jews - Sanale Ehrlich, Pinche Rosengarten (Peke), Shaltiel (the Rabbi's grandson), the butcher's daughter and the writer of these lines - when we met up with the tailor Zucker and his two children and Golda Tchaikovsky and her fiancé, altogether about ten people. In a downpour on a Shabbat day we sought out some niche and settled in, thoroughly drenched, freezing and hungry. We lit a small fire to warm our weary bodies and cook something. We had hardly sat down when again a hail of bullets pinned us down. Zucker and his two children and Golda Tchaikovsky and her fiancé were felled on the spot; Sanale, Shaltiel and Pinche managed to escape. However, I was wounded with two bullets in my hand. (The attackers were the Poles; Capt. Kiempie and Bublik, the son of the warden both of the B. Ch. i.e. the Battalion Ch³opski). And in this condition I ran to Chajków where the doctor, Eli Friedman, was hiding out by a peasant. After endless beseeching, imploring and bribery, the peasant let me in to see Eli. By the light of the oven, Eli sewed the wound with ordinary thread. I remained there over night. In the morning, the peasant sent both of us away. I was running a fever of 40°C [104°F]. The pain was so unbearable that I begged Eli to give me his revolver in order to end my suffering. We had no other recourse but to return to the forest. In my condition, in freezing weather of 15 - 20°C below zero [-4°F to +5°F], my hand deteriorated further. My companions Eli, Shlomo Friedman, Simcha Rottenberg and Chaim Zimmerman (Gila) among others, decided to build a bunker for me at Shepczik's, a peasant who lived below the Golejów forest. They dug out the bunker under his house and several of us settled in. But gangrene began to set in my wounded hand and Eli Friedman decided to amputate. He sent a teacher from Czajków, Irika, to Dr. Niewirowicz in Staszów to borrow the necessary instruments, but Niewirowicz categorically refused. Having no alternative, Eli did whatever he could under the circumstances, but wonder of wonders (!), in spite of everything, my fever went down and gradually the hand started to mend.
As time went on, my savings gradually dissipated. I had even extracted my gold teeth. Remaining penniless by March, 1944, I joined a company of beggars like Sanale Ehrlich, Shaltiel and two others. Sanale, by the way, had frostbitten feet and Shaltiel was bloated from hunger and cold, and both were naked. Thanks to several kind peasants (a rare occurrence in the general hate-ridden aura) who supported us with a bit of food at night, we somehow managed to survive the cold winter nights. In the summer we maintained ourselves with some potatoes, carrots and the likes that we managed to requisition in the fields. Thus we, a small group of several tens of people saved ourselves from the hands of an unhappy fate, the same fate that because of cold, hunger and above all the wickedness and hateful atmosphere that surrounded us, annihilated some 1000 of our brethren who entered the forest after rescuing themselves from the Aussiedlung (relocation).
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