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3. Ghettoes

A Polish man's final goodbye to his sister

As German soldiers prepared for the Warsaw Ghetto, Walter Peltz's parents demanded that Walter flee the city to save himself

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"So, early in the morning I said goodbye to them. And I left and I was walking. It was so cold. Maybe it wasn't that cold, but it was cold for me. I was hungry, and as I walked, I walked about, I don't know, maybe fifteen or twenty [minutes] or a half an hour.

See, my plan was to go — I had to go through the cemetery in order to omit a lot of those, you know, the Germans and the police had their stands, they asked for papers. So in order to avoid them I had to go around through the cemetery. Go through a fence and go through the cemetery so I would come out to a different street, you know, which I knew my way around.

So I was walking, and all of a sudden, I turned and looked. I seen my little sister is following me. This is not the youngest, before the youngest.

So, I stopped [sighs] and I call her. I says to her, 'Machla, where are you going? Why do you following me?' She starts to cry terribly. She says to me, 'Please,' she says to me, 'take me with you. I want to live, too.'

I says, 'Honey, I don't know if I'm going to be alive. I don't know where I'm going, and I certainly can't take you, I just can't.'

So she got so hysterical that she threw herself on the sidewalk and she started to pound her head on that cement. She was bleeding terrible and I had to leave her there and went away.

That was the last time I seen her. "

Peltz Interview, Tape 2, Side 2
Transcript page 41 (PDF, 802 KB)

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