Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
A young Polish mother is protected from Germans
In 1943, Chana Comins and her baby escaped from a train destined for mass execution — She hid in the forest until her daughter became ill
Listen to audio
"I can never forget, one day she [her daughter Sally] was so frozen I thought she dead and I took her to that Polish family and she promised me she'll take care of her.
And one day two Germans came in and Sally — you can't tell if she's Jewish or not — she was crawling around with the rest of the kids and for me it was already late to get out because I was already inside and they were opening the door and I couldn't run, otherwise they would kill me and they'll kill the whole family.
And I was, I put on a [scarf] she gave me, the lady gave me the Polish people used to wear.
I have the scarf she gave me. I kept it. I brought it with me to this country. It's a black scarf, a wool one, with flowers on it. And she gave me a blouse like the Polish, the Russian people wearing with the great big big sleeves.
And the Germans came in and they asked if she seeing any Jews around.
And I couldn't understand what they saying and they start talking to me and the lady said, 'She's a deaf, that's my cousin and she can't speak German.' The lady, a little bit, she understood German, but she said, 'She's dumb, she can't speak anything.'
And I can hear what they asking her, but I was just standing over there and playing with the kids like nobody's business. Then after they left, I took Sally with me back to the [forest]."
Comins Interview, Tape 1, Side 2
Transcript page 18 (PDF, 261 KB)