Extracts from Jack Kagans Story


"The remaining 1,500 of us were taken to Peresika, where the ghetto was built. It was small, bunks were built: 60 cm (approx. 2 feet) of space per person. If you had to turn over in the night, you would wake up the nine people who slept in your row. It was an open ghetto, which meant we had to go out to work. My father worked as a saddler and my mother stitched fur gloves for the German army. I worked in the Russian barracks, along with about 250 men. The work was difficult and I had a four-kilometre walk to work. I was barely 13 years old - I believe I was the youngest worker in the barracks. After a while I was transferred to a better job - wheel-barrowing stones. This work was also hard and I was beaten on many occasions."

In May and June 1942, Jews were brought in from neighbouring towns and the ghetto became very overcrowded.

Jack remembers that...
"…Various regulations were coming out daily against the Jewish population. Jews from the little surrounding towns and villages were brought to Novogrudek, starting at the beginning of May 1942. Altogether the ghetto now held about 6,500 people. Every centimetre of space was utilised. It is difficult to describe the misery of that time. People were walking around aimlessly knowing that they were sentenced to death, but not knowing when the execution would take place. Yet there was nowhere to run to."

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