"Most of my
family and I went to Bialystok before the war, and we
lived there till the war broke out. There had been
anti-Semites in Szczuczyn, and my family decided to move
to Bialystok where there was less anti-Semitism. There
had been many pogroms by the "Endekes" (National
Democratic Party) in Szczuczyn in 1936, 1937, and 1938.
There were Polish anti-Semites who wore uniforms, and
they made the pogroms. A lot of Jewish people from
Szczuczyn went to Bialystok. In Bialystok we were living
near a church because we thought we would be safer
living there, because no Jew could go walk on the same
side of the street where the Christians walked.
If I wanted to go somewhere, I had a problem. I was
afraid to go anywhere because I was afraid that the
pogromists would kill me. It was the same in 1933 when
the Germans took over and marched in Germany. The same
thing occurred in Szczuczyn. Right away, they tried to
use excuses against the Jews. They created pogroms and
beat up Jews. And then people went to Bialystok and the
same thing happened.
Anti-Semitism began in Bialystok too. I went on the
street one evening, and all of a sudden somebody hit me
on the head. So I asked, 'Why did you do that?' A
policeman was near there, and I went to the policeman to
complain. The policeman told me not to say anything
because I will get worse that that. That was an example
of the anti-Semitism. The Poles would be standing in
front of the stores, and they wouldn't let Jews go into
the stores to buy anything, and they didn't let you
leave. They had big rubber sticks. We couldn't go out
shopping, we couldn't go out to a shoemaker or a tailor,
because right away we'd be putting our lives in danger.
We couldn't go to work. There hadn't been any
opportunities to work."