Rose's Story

My mother, Rose Silberberg Skier, tells the miraculous story of how she survived the Holocaust

Monday, February 21, 2005

Part IV

DP: So, describe the first day that your parents took you to the bunker.

RS: When they took me to the bunker (it had to be 1943) they stayed with me. As long as my parents stayed with me, what happened was, that sometimes we left the chicken coop, and went up to…she had hay up on top, in an attic or something. And as long as we stayed in the hay, she had a little lookout. We could see the outside. Barely, but we could see the outside. So we used to look there and see what’s going on in the world.

And at that time, I remember my parents used to teach me how to spell, they used to teach me how to multiply. Not only it kept me busy, but it also taught me things. So I wasn’t even behind, practically.

But when my parents left, it was nothing but loneliness. I used to just sit there. But even though I was lonely, I became the type of person that, later on, could be always alone. My kids say, “Oh, you like to be alone.” Really I don't like to be alone, but I know how to be alone. I just…daydreamed. And I used to sit and daydream for hours. And this stayed with me later on, many years later on. Whatever happened, if I was sad, I used to daydream. And it kept me alive, because otherwise I would have been just crying all the time.

DP: Did you have any information about what was going on outside the bunker or outside the ghetto?

RS: Not when I was alone. When my parents were there, then the Polish woman would discuss with them, “I heard such and such is going on.” Or sometimes you could hear the shooting and all this. Or there’s another transport that left for Auschwitz, something like that.

DP: Mrs. Skier, we were talking about the bunker. Please describe if you took anything with you when you went into the bunker.

RS: My mother took clothes. And she took some books. This is all that could really be brought in. Not only because there was very little room, but because you couldn’t just carry things around, because it would arouse suspicion. Plus we didn’t have much. But whatever we could was there. And even when my parents left to the ghetto, they used to leave stuff behind. And sometimes bring a little more.

And as far as the Polish woman went, Mrs. Cicha, she had a real problem. Because she had to buy food on the black market. You couldn’t normally buy food anyhow. And she had to buy enough for all the people. For us, later on some others. And bring it home without the neighbors being suspicious: “What is she carrying all this for? Who is there?” Because she was all alone.

So I must say that I remember those hardships that she had. Naturally, when some people left the hiding place, it got easier for her. When I was there alone with her, there was no problem at all.



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