b. Skudvil, Lithuania, 1922
At the close of summer in 1942, a group was formed in the ghetto in Shavel, Lithuania, that dreamed of escape and resistance. It was only a dream. But our resistance group met regularly to hear ideas and options, and to plan.
Everyone in our group was to try to make contact with a friendly Lithuanian. Perhaps he could get us a gun. We knew if we were to run away and establish ourselves in the woods, we would need good clothes, an ax, a saw, a shovel, and also a gun.
So members of our resistance group who did not look Jewish would remove their yellow stars and go to their Lithuanian friends and plead for help. They did so at the risk of their lives.
But it did not work. We could not get even one gun.
We decided to confide in the Judenrat, the Jewish administrators of the ghetto. We told them of our plan. We wanted to establish a base outside the ghetto, to explore the possibilities. Perhaps we could get help from the outside world. Perhaps we could even save some Jews this way. They said that they would help us all they could. They would give us clothes. But they reminded us that should the Germans catch anybody in the ghetto with a gun, it could very well be the end of the ghetto.
As hard as all the members of our group tried, we were not able to get a gun. One day, the Germans requested a new list—several hundred Jews were to be sent to a camp called Daugel. A member of our group became very excited. He had once been sent to Daugel for a short time. He said that Daugel was the most ideal place to escape from because the camp was in the middle of the woods.
Our group decided to ask the Judenrat to send about ten of us to Daugel. We also asked them to appoint a member of our group as administrator of the camp.
Daugel had a brick factory away from the populated area, in the woods. There was a big, dilapidated building. There were a lot of small rooms in the building, where the bricks were heated and dried.
The administrator the Judenrat appointed was good-looking with a nice personality, very smart. He spoke perfect German. Everybody liked him. He was perfect for the job.