Hiding Out in the Woods of Podwysokie: End of July 1943

(This is a chapter from Jack Glotzer’s memoir, I Survived the German Holocaust Against All Odds. Click here to return to the Table of Contents.)

The woods of Podwysokie

The woods of Podwysokie (today Pidvysoke), 2018.

When we came back to the woods, we were afraid to go to our previous hiding place where the killings by the Germans and Ukrainians took place. We decided to cross over to the other side of Łopuszna where the woods of Podwysokie were. The village of Podwysokie was inhabited mainly by Polish farmers. There was one house close to the woods. We took a chance and knocked on the door. A Polish farmer (I have forgotten his name) opened the door. First, when he saw us, he was very scared to let us in. Then he looked at us, crossed himself, and let us in. He gave us some bread and milk. That bread and milk revived us. We kissed his hands and he started to cry with us. We told him that we would be hiding in the woods of Podwysokie for a few days. The woods of Podwysokie were not as dense as the woods of Łopuszna. We knew that eventually we would have to leave. Every evening he brought us food. One evening when he came, he told us that the next day he would be going to Rohatyn on some business, so we should not expect him to come with food. But he brought us enough bread, sufficient for the next day. When I heard that he was going to Rohatyn, I begged him to go to the house where I left my brother Samuel and my cousin Clara Glotzer (Toni Czekay’s sister). When I told him that they were in Sikorski’s house, he knew how to get there. I begged him to tell my brother to come with him to join me in the woods of Podwysokie.

When that Polish farmer came back on the next day, he told me that he saw my brother and my cousin. My brother told him that he would come and join me shortly. I was under the impression that my brother did not trust the Polish farmer. I kept waiting for my brother, but he never came. I even told the Polish farmer that if I left the woods of Podwysokie, I would always let him know of my whereabouts in case my brother came. After the liberation I found out that two weeks prior to the liberation my brother and my cousin were betrayed by a man who was hiding them in his house after they left Sikorski. My brother Samuel and my cousin Clara Glotzer were killed by the Germans two weeks before the liberation. Some people who knew my brother told me that he always talked about having a brother in the woods of Podwysokie and he was planning to join him. Unfortunately, he never did.

My brother Samuel was 17 years old when he was murdered. He was a very bright boy. I looked up to him even though he was younger than I. He was a brilliant student. When my father left for the USA, he was working for my mother’s brother, Morris Barban, who was a lawyer. My uncle used to tell my mother that my brother was a born lawyer. My mother was very proud of him. I was always hoping until the liberation that he would survive. But this was not the case. When I found out after the liberation what happened to him, I reported to the Soviet authority the name of the Ukrainian who betrayed my brother to the Germans (I do not remember his name). The Soviet authority deported the traitor to Siberia.

We were hiding in the Podwysokie woods for about two weeks. Finally, the Polish farmer told us with regret that it was very hard for him to help us. We never knew that he was sheltering a Jewish family in his house. Their name was Acht; they had an infant. I was in touch with the Achts after the war. They emigrated to Israel. Last year Mr. Acht died.

[60] Circa 1999. – Ed.

Published by the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, (UCHS), Kyiv. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

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