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Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust Interviews

4. Hiding

A Ukrainian family digs a hiding place beneath a toilet

In 1942 Lucy Baras and her family continually sought refuge from the Nazis by concealing themselves in hiding places around their city

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"But then after that [action] they started to talk about big things, we decided we need another, what they called, a bunker.

We had an outdoor toilet. The entrance was from the outside but the toilet actually was like part of the house.

It was one wall, only a door from the outside. A lock was hanging. Always when we went in, we used the key and unlocked that, like a padlock. But inside that was not a real toilet.

What we did is, we made a seat and put the pail under it, it looks just like a seat, but under that seat we started to dig and we dug a crooked tunnel. But we couldn't do it fast because daytime people would hear the knocking, people would heard.

We were afraid even of other Jews, because if you had the bunker where you can put only two, three people and half of the neighborhood would come in, then nobody will get in.

So we asked that Ukrainian man who had warned us the first day of the German occupation about the danger, we asked him if he knew somebody dependable who would dig us a bunker, and he sent us a man.

We paid him, and he dug a tunnel under that toilet seat."

Baras Transcript, Tape 3, Side 1
Transcript page 47 (PDF, 665 KB)

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