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2. Anti-Semitism

Witnessing the beginning of Polish Jews persecution

Twenty-year-old Walter Peltz describes a horrific train ride from the Russian border to Warsaw

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"Well, the train took off, if it was two o'clock [a.m.], if it's late, I don't know. It took off for Warsaw.

And as the train start to move, and about fifteen or twenty minutes later, a bunch of hoodlums, Polish guys, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, who knows, with about a half a dozen Nazis with flashlights — it was dark in the cars — looking for Jews.

This was the first 'how do you do.' The first experience. So the Germans couldn't recognize who were the Jews. You know, some people pretended they were sleeping.

And the Polacks, whenever they pointed a finger, 'This is a Jew.' If it's a woman, a child or whatever it is, or man. Now, the first thing: they had the privilege to take off everything, if you had a watch, if you had good boots, the clothes.

And they dragged them to the door and pushed them out as the train was traveling forty-fifty miles an hour.

This was the first experience [of Nazi persecution]."

Peltz Interview, Tape 2, Side 2
Transcript page 39 (PDF, 802 KB)

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