Moshe’s Story: Chapter 2

Chapter 2

The war came to Brzeziny when Moshe was 12-years-old. In September of 1939, the family gathered around the radio and listened to the news that Nazi Germany had invaded Poland. Moshe had heard some rumors about the Nazis. Soon, he himself witnessed the Polish army pull back and flee from the German advances, and within a few days the German soldiers were in control of Brzeziny.

Testimony: “War Comes To Brzeziny”

“They were running away from the Germans.”

—Moshe Goldfeier

Soon after their arrival in Brzeziny, the Nazis enforced many new laws regarding Jews. First, Jews were to wear armbands with the Star of David over their clothing, to identify themselves clearly. Next, no more than three Jews were allowed to assemble together, which meant that Jews could not gather to pray. Jews could not own or run their own businesses anymore, and all able-bodied men were to report for forced labor. This in particular was a terrible blow to the Goldfeier family, whose entire income came from the fabric business. Now, Mr. Goldfeier and Moshe’s cousin had to report to daily work on the roads, digging ditches. Fearing for his life, Moshe’s father decided to flee to the Soviet Union with Moshe’s cousin.

Testimony: “Father’s Goodbye”

“They kept my mother for three months.”

—Moshe Goldfeier

Drawing by A. Lakos of Jewish forced laborers marching with shovels.

Drawing by A. Lakos of Jewish forced laborers marching with shovels.

After Mr. Goldfeier fled to the Soviet Union and while Mrs. Goldfeier was under arrest in retribution, relatives and friends helped to take care of the children.

Chapter 2



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