Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
A Polish mother and her baby escape liquidation in 1943
Chana Comins, her two-year-old daughter, and other Jewish laborers were traveling to a liquidation camp when she made her daring escape
Listen to audio
"And I was in that wagon with a lot of people and you couldn't even ask, but I asked one Gestapo. I said 'Before I know where I am going — you can't fool me — but can I at least have a cup of water?' It was a little farmhouse. And I asked him if I can go in, I said 'Even you have a heart, you can go, can I go in and have drink of water?'
He said, 'No.' But then another Gestapo said 'What can you lose? Let her go and have a drink of water.' And he let me.
I went into the little farmhouse; nobody was there. And it was a window, just enough to crawl out of that window. And I got some water, and that was kinda high that window, and I broke the window with my elbow and I cut myself pretty bad and I was bleeding, and I tossed Sally out and I jumped out of the window and I escaped to the woods.
And when I escaped they start shooting, but they never hit me. A lot of people escaped that day through the woods and I went to a woods I never been before I didn't know where I am and Sally — lucky what Sally was a very good baby — she never cried.
And when I escaped and it was morning and I didn't know where I am, but I could see, it was around four o'clock it was still light, and I could hear the machine guns and I could see some of it from the woods.
How they, the people they took all their clothes off and they shot them and they just fell in the ditches, the graves, the ditches we used to work on it."
Comins Interview, Tape 1, Side 1
Transcript page 12 (PDF, 261 KB)