HALBERSZTADT Estera Golda
Testimony of Estera Halbersztadt
The story began in spring 1942. She was in the ghetto, going from one street to another, hiding all the time – in Grodzka and, Rybna Street. She said: “I didn't stay two nights in the same place. At that time people were never taking off their clothes, they were living in their clothes in case something happened”. In spring 1942, the deportation of Jews began. She said: “I got a message from my father: 'Go out of the ghetto immediately and come to 'garbarnia''”. It was forbidden to go out from the ghetto but she did it. The next day the deportations started. This “garbarnia” was a very important place, because Jewish workers were employed there and they could stay there.
Later she was brought to the train station by a Pole, and went to Warsaw. Some time ago she came back to Lublin. She went to 'garbarnia' once again. She was on the street, not knowing where to go and what to do. Suddenly she saw the flashlight from the Germans and heard: “I see someone!” She began to run and jumped into the river. She stayed in the water. She wrote: “It was crazy what I did – I began to shout, cry and call my cousin. He heard me, brought me from the river and I could jump inside the premises of 'garbarnia'. I stayed there for one night. I took off my wet clothes and dried them on a little oven. The next day I had to go.
Estera was working in one of the Victor Kremin's factories for a few months in Floriańska Street. Kremin would tell the workers when they appeared on the deportation list. Every day a man came from the Gestapo with a list of people to be brought to Majdanek. One day Victor told her: “Your name is on the list. You have to hide. Otherwise they will take you”. Suddenly she saw a man taking a ladder and his family climbing it. She also went up. Then the Germans arrived. She heard shouting, people who didn't want to go were being shot... The main officer came up to Kremin and shouted: “Is there anyone else”? And he said: “No. How can anybody hide here?” And Esther was on the roof! They were there for one night. Early in the morning they went down. She had to leave.