I am Pinchas Zions.
From a small town in Poland call Baranow. When the war broke out in 1939 I was about eight and a half years old. On the last night before deportation, a cart came to our house with a horse and our parents put us, the children, on it, with some clothes, and took us out of town to the farm of a Pole where we were supposed to hide. After a week, the Pole told us to go away. Our only option was to go and hide in the woods.
In one of the villages, my father went to see a Pole and ask for food, and the Pole proposed something: He would leave the family in the woods, and, being a good tailor, he'd sit in the Pole's house and make clothes for his family and in return, each evening the Pole's wife would bring hot soup and bread to the edge of the wood and we could come out in secret and take it. This arrangement was to last a week or two. In that period, I who never knew I had an advantage began to help feeding the family. Some weeks, when father was not with the Poles we were all in the wood and no one brought us anything in the evening. So father and I would sneak at night to steal food. This way we weathered the first winter.
In the end of winter, in March, in a certain village I met a young family who had no children. They liked me so much they proposed to adopt me. And every day when the snow melted I took the beasts to pasture. The pasture was in the woods. I lived in better conditions than my family but I was in an awful state of anxiety every day. You might say that was a relatively pleasant time. I was adopted. I managed to give my brother milk every day. On Sundays, I brought food to my family in the woods I saw them, and knew they were all right. Until, it was in July I think, I brought my brother milk as usual, went back, and hid the empty bottle in the bushes. When I started walking toward the stream I saw all the children running toward me, naked. Before I realized what was happening, they stripped me naked. And while they did this one of the girls whom I knew, she was 14, she realized I was Jewish and shouted: Pavel is a Jew! I coolly collected their clothes off the ground for myself and for my brother, got dressed and ran into the woods. I found my brother first and he took me to mother and father's hiding place under a certain bush, and I told them that this good thing that lasted several months came to an end.
Now, it was clear, we were in a life-danger situation. We had two possibilities: to die of hunger and exposure or to risk a snowstorm and try to steal food in a village 5 kms. away. Suddenly, in broad daylight, the sun was shining, a beautiful day... Two Germans. Shooting at us. We scattered. I didn't see anyone. My brother hid in a bush. The Germans chased father. We were not hit by the shot but they caught Father.
Mother escaped from the bunker and ran somewhere. I was the last to escape. I climbed up, the shots came from one side and I ran the other way. I didn't see where the others went, who was killed, who was saved, where they were. I knew nothing. I ran and ran, and on the way I had to pass through a clearing. I crossed almost the entire clearing, and about 5 meters from the perimeter, I fell face down in the snow. I didn't know that I was wounded, I didn't know why I fell, I only felt that my right leg was heavy, but no pain. I rolled over on my back, and lay there in the dark. There was moonlight and I lay in the snow. I remembered that at the outskirts of town where I had never been, there was a Polish woman who at night gave food to Jews. Maybe there are Jews there, maybe I'll make it to them even though I didn't know where they were. Maybe I'll find someone. Finally, in May, the Russians' Guns were to far away. The Partisans found me and my long-lost aunt and many other things, but that's another story and should be told separately.