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Holocaust Survivor Story: Eva Galler

9A Jeong Yun Choi
by

Jeong Yun Choi

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of Holocaust Survivor Story: Eva Galler

Eva Galler The last thing my father told me as he pushed me from the train was "You run. I know you will stay alive, you have the Belzer Rebbe's blessing." He was very religious and he believed this. 1924-2006 1924 Eva Galler. was born between Ita Prince
and Israel Vogel on
January 1, 1927, in Oleszyce,
Poland. Galler's hometown Oleszyce, Poland Israel Vogel Eva's father, Israel Vogel was a dealer and manufacturer of religious articles. He was married with Ita Prince, who was Eva's mother. Oleszyce, the little town he lived in, was known as a manufacturing center for such articles. Pieces of parchment that were not suitable for torah scrolls were made into drum heads. He had a sideline in the music business. Ita Prince Eva's mother Ita Prince was an orphan. The family she lived with was too poor to afford a dowry, and in those days it was hard to get married without one. Eva's father, Israel was a widower with six children. My mother was 18 and my father was 34. They matched Ita up with my father because he was rich and because he promised to take in all her sisters and provide dowries for them. She did not want to marry him, but she had no choice. Her foster family said, "If you do not marry him you will have to provide for yourself and your three sisters." It was a business proposition. She had eight children. Eva was the oldest child. Eva and Ita Germany Invades Poland People in Eva's town did not believe that the Germans would come until they saw the airplanes. In a couple of days the Germans occupied the whole of Poland. Then there was not anything one could do. It was too late. The Germans and the Russians had a treaty, the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, which divided Poland at the River San. Because Eva's town was on the Russian side, the Germans occupied Eva's part of Poland for just two weeks. Then, according to the Treaty, the Russians came in. Until 1941 the Russians were in charge. "One Saturday evening in June 1941 we went to sleep. About 6 o'clock Sunday morning the villagers heard gunshots and went out to see what was happening. German motorcycles were going down the main street. Soldiers were shooting right and left. Whoever was on the street was killed right away. This was when our problems began." TRAGEDY BEGINS The Jews were not permitted to keep a job. People started to trade their belongings with the farmers for food. Potatoes and flour were more important than money. If someone had cash at the house, it did not last too long. Best off were the people who had stores and who could hide the merchandise.

The first thing they did was to make a Judenrat. A few Jews became responsible for the entire Jewish community. To these people, they gave orders which they had to pass on to the Jews. We had to put on armbands so we would be recognized as Jews. Their armbands were white with blue Stars of David sewn on. Every day orders came for people to go to work at hard labor or to do work like cleaning toilets. The Judenrat had to deliver the number of people they required.

Jews were not allowed to walk down the sidewalks, but had to walk down the middle of the street. The street in our town was not paved. When it rained it became a street of mud.

Even your friends could turn against you. It was as if anyone could pick on the underdog. Jews were outside the law. Anyone could do with the Jews as they wanted. This continued until September 1942. One day the drummer came. He announced that all the Jews had to take what they could carry and walk the seven kilometers to the next town of Lubaczow. There was a ghetto there.
All the Jews of Oleszyce and the neighboring villages were moved to the ghetto in Lubaczow. The ghetto was the size of one city block for 7,000 people. We slept 28 people in a room that was about 12 by 15 feet. It was like a sardine box. People lived in attics, in basements, in the streets--all over.
It was cold. In one corner there was a little iron stove but no fuel. We were not given enough to eat. The children looked through the garbage for food. There was not enough water to drink. There was one well in the backyard, but it would not produce enough water for everybody. To be sure to get water you had to get up in the middle of the night. Once I had a little water to wash myself, and my sister later washed herself in the same water. Some people started to eat grass. They would swell up and die. Because of the unsanitary conditions people got lice and typhus. My brother Pinchas got night blindness from lack of vitamins. Every day a lot of people died. It was a terrible situation. Then, beginning on January 4, 1943, the Gestapo and the Polish and Ukranian police started to chase all the Jews out from their houses. The deportation took several days. People ran and hid. The Jewish police helped to find the people in hiding. They had been promised that they would stay alive if they cooperated.
We knew where we were going. A boy from our town had been deported to Belzec camp. He escaped and came back to our town. He told us that Belzec had a crematorium. Deportation trains from other cities had passed by our city and people had thrown out notes. These notes were picked up by the men forced to work there. The notes said, "Don't take anything with you, just water." " " Family's Death "My brother Berele jumped out, then my sister Hannah, and then I jumped out from the train heading to the concentration camp. The SS men shot at us. I landed in a snowbank. The bullets did not hit me. When I did not hear anything anymore, I went back to find my brother and my sister. I found them dead. My brother Berele was 15. My sister Hannah was 16. I was 17." "I took off my star and I promised myself that never again would I ever wear a star. I ran back to the city where we lived. We had a Gentile friend there, a lady to whom we gave a lot of our belongings. She was scared to keep me. Gentile families who were found to be hiding Jews would be killed.
I wanted to go to the train station, but I was afraid to go in our city because everybody knew me. So I went to the woods and walked to the next station 32 kilometers away.
I saw a boy and a girl talking about work forces. They were catching boys and girls and sending them to work in Germany. Nobody would go work freely in Germany; they had to use force. This was how they rounded up the people. I was very glad that I was caught with those people. I was caught as a Gentile and not as a Jew." Faked Identity From the Woman WORKING "We were put on a train and taken from Cracow to Vienna. They sent us to a place where the German farmers came to pick up workers. It was something like a slave market. One family liked me and took me to their farm. The husband was at home and he was a very mean person.
After a year I got sick. They transferred me to a smaller farm where there were nice people. Before Easter, Marie, the farm lady I worked for, told me that I had to go to confession. I was a religious Jewish girl, and I did not know what Catholic girls did at confession. I lay awake nights worrying what I would do until I came up with a solution. My Polish friends did not speak German, which I had picked up easily because I knew Yiddish. My friends were going to go to confession at the Slovakian church, where they spoke a language close to Polish. I asked Marie to let me take confession at her church in the German language. She showed me the prayer book where I had to confess my sins. I figured if I did not say the words exactly right, the German priest would not be suspicious because I was just a Polish girl. So I made up some sins and went to confession. My heart was pounding; I was so scared. I saw what other people were doing, and I imitated them. I went up to the German priest, and he put something on my tongue. Somehow I blacked out; it must have been the fear. Later on everything went smoothly." At the Working Place The End of the Nightmare "In May 1945 the Germans started to draw back, and one day the Russians came in. I was still scared to tell anyone I was Jewish. I looked at the Russian soldiers to see if I could recognize anyone who was Jewish, but I didn't." EVA GALLER GOT MARRIED. EVA
GALLER
DIED ON
2006. 2006 These events were important to Eva, because Eva survived. In my opinion, Eva was a living history. Whatever she had gone through is also important for the truth of the history. The people, who won the victory, write history. However, since Eva survived, the survivors like Eva are the eyewitnesses and the victims. Survivors like Eva are the truth of the Holocaust. The Holocaust Terrifying
Holocaust
Emerging

Horrified
Old and young
Left to die
Our struggle, lost
Causing death
Almost indescribable
Under the Third Reich
Six million souls die
Tonight. Father’s paragraph: http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/data.show.php?di=record&da=photos&ke=42
Biography (Picture): http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/data.show.php?di=record&da=survivors&ke=6
Ita and Eva:
http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/data.show.php?di=record&da=photos&ke=36
Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9t2kqlK8z8. Bibliography What Eva has gone through:
HOLOCAUST By. 9A Jeong Yun Choi THREE
DAUGHTERS
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