Life in the Rawa-Ruska Ghetto

In this video, Leon Hirsch describes what it was like to move into the Rawa-Ruska ghetto. His family brought very few belongings and lived in one room of a shared apartment. Source: Montreal Holocaust Museum, 2003



Video begins with inter-title in white text on black screen while instrumental music plays and fades into the next frame: In 1942, the Germans forced all Jews living in Rawa Ruska (Poland) to move into a small, enclosed ghetto.



Cut to Holocaust survivor Leon Hirsch, sitting in front of a grey background, and looking to the left of the camera. The camera shows his face and shoulders as he speaks during an interview conducted in Montreal in 2003.

>> Interviewer: Did you have to move?

>> Leon Hirsch: We had to get into the ghetto.



The name “Leon Hirsch” and the location of the filmed interview, “Montreal”, appear in white text above Leon's right shoulder.

>> They moved out whoever was living there, Polish people. And the Jewish people went into that ghetto. And we used to live like animals there. That was announced very strictly. What do I mean by strict? That anybody who doesn't obey the orders would be shot, either in his house or on the street, wherever he is found.



Cut to second inter-title in white text on black screen while instrumental music plays and fades into the next frame: Leon's family brought very few belongings into the ghetto and moved into one room of a shared apartment.



Cut to Leon Hirsch in front of the camera.

>> Leon took nothing. Leon took just what I wore. His clothes. His clothes. Okay, mother packed some other things, this and that. But no furniture, no clocks. We had a couple of blankets that mother took, and there we had some bags. You know, like those linen, beige, big bags. So we took some straw and made a mattress out of that. And we were sleeping on the floor. We used to trade with the Polish people, because in the ghetto, there were Jewish people living from before. They had nice homes, they had nice businesses in the ghetto. So they remained in the ghetto. But those people who lived outside the ghetto had to move into the ghetto. So they just let us in because we knew some people there. They just let us in because they knew us, and they said, “Ok, come in.” So they gave us one room. But we weren't the only ones. They had some relatives who lived outside.



Music plays for the remainder of the video. Three credit pages appear in white text on black screen: Interview conducted by Elsa Kisber, Witness to History Program, Montreal, 2003, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre

Directing: Helgi Piccinin; Editing and Colorization: Michaël Gravel, Helgi Piccinin; Audio Mix and Original Music: Pierre-Luc Lecours. [Logo for Chaire de recherche du Canada en patrimoine ethnologique]

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, copyright 2017.



End of transcript.

Click and share!