Born: 1924, Warsaw, Poland
Describes hiding during the raid in which his mother and sisters were seized for deportation from Warsaw to Treblinka [Interview: 1989]
She has a paper that her husband works for the Germans so she says, "Don't worry." I mean...I says, "But I have to worry because I am over seventeen. And if they see me, they will grab me." So she says, "Don't worry. You go hide." So I was hiding in the house and she went downstairs with my three sisters. Everybody was having that...that thing on the back of the thing with a piece of bread with a...with a schmates [cloth] inside. I don't know what they keep inside. And that's how they went downstairs. And this is the...the last time I saw them. Because the Germans, even if they saw the paper, they just took the paper like this and ripped it apart and they took them out. That time they took about ten thousand people to the place Umschlagplatz where they took the people to Treblinka. I was laying, hidden in a room in the top of the ceiling. They made like a blind room. If you wouldn't know it, you wouldn't know it's a room. But it actually was like a hideaway on the top of the ceiling. And I was laying there, and I heard the Germans came into the house and they take them out downstairs, and I was laying there. I didn't know what to do, what to say. And I figured because of the paper, he's going to read the paper and he's going to say, "Oh well," and he's going to let them stay. And he tell them to go downstairs. In the courtyard, there was already hundreds of people like this, and they took them away.
Like other Jews, the Lewents were confined to the Warsaw ghetto. In 1942, as Abraham hid in a crawl space, the Germans seized his mother and sisters in a raid. They perished. He was deployed for forced labor nearby, but escaped to return to his father in the ghetto. In 1943, the two were deported to Majdanek, where Abraham's father died. Abraham later was sent to Skarzysko, Buchenwald, Schlieben, Bisingen, and Dachau. U.S. troops liberated Abraham as the Germans evacuated prisoners.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections