Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust Interviews
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
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"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