Vladka (Fagele) Peltel Meed
Born: 1921, Warsaw, Poland
Describes reactions after the Warsaw ghetto uprising [Interview: 1991]
I felt that really everything is finished. That it's the end. I didn't think about myself, that I will live or life will go on or I will meet people or...It's the end. I...sometimes I was mad at myself that I remained, that why am I not there? I should have been there. This was the place to be together with them. I was constantly with them. I was living only for them, and it was for me like the end of everything. Of course, it was very painful when I was going as a Polish girl and listening to the surrounding...how they talk about the people being there, that they...good that they have such an end. Good that at least the Germans took care of them this way. Not all of the Poles were like this, but you heard this. Around the, the ghetto walls, instead of being part [of] what was going on there and after all they were neighbors for so many years. I didn't feel...not only not solidarity but not pain, not compassion, of people whom they knew for so many years and who lived door by door and seeing that everything is going into flames, is going into smoke. So it was pain. It was a lot of pain.
Vladka belonged to the Zukunft youth movement of the Bund (the Jewish Socialist party). She was active in the Warsaw ghetto underground as a member of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB). In December 1942, she was smuggled out to the Aryan, Polish side of Warsaw to try to obtain arms and to find hiding places for children and adults. She became an active courier for the Jewish underground and for Jews in camps, forests, and other ghettos.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections