Levi Boginsky of Szczuczyn, Poland

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First-Hand Account


Read Levi Boginsky's story, "From Szczuczyn to Bialystok, From Russia to America," as told to the Museumfor its exhibition, "Walk in my Shoes:
Collected Memories of the Holocaust," by clicking here.

"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."








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