Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
A young woman escapes from the Warsaw Ghetto
In 1940, after Pela Alpert's father insisted that she escape the ghetto to save herself, she never saw her family again
Listen to audio
"So my dad said to me, he says, 'You are so young, so young, and I would like you to get out of here.'
Now, I did not have any identification as a Gentile girl. I wore a paska, that means the Jewish Star of David.
And I said, 'Dad, how will I get out? They'll shoot me.' He said, 'Well, dying of hunger is just as bad.' And he said I didn't, you know, have the long nose or something, so he said, 'You just try it to go to a small town.'
So one day I had made up my mind, and there were a couple of friends of mine that — and I says, 'I don't want to leave you here in these...'
'Well, we stay in this' — they had for this people to stay — 'We'll stay here, we'll control ourselves. Don't worry about us.'
I did not want to go, but my father just liked pushed me out.
And we went through, there was a wall and there was a little, like a — to go through a hole to the other side, you know, where the Gentiles lived. There you could take a train.
Here I went, took off, ripped off this [star]. Now this, for sure, if they caught me, I would be dead.
And I had a few dollars — not dollars but zlotys — and to buy a ticket and we bought a ticket.
I had no identification as a Jewish or a Gentile, but if they caught me and they would ask me, what would I say?
They did not recognize me, and I went on the train."
Alpert Interview, Tape 1, Side 1
Transcript page 7 (PDF, 345 KB)