Vladka (Fagele) Peltel Meed
Born: 1921, Warsaw, Poland
Describes her reaction to the burning of the Warsaw ghetto as she watched from a building outside the ghetto [Interview: 1991]
While being there at night, I saw the flames of the ghetto. And I saw also certain pictures which were seared in my mind. Some Jews running from one place to the other and also seeing some Jews jumping from buildings, but I was observing this from a window and I couldn't do anything. And then flames burst into the ghetto. The Germans couldn't take over the streets, they start putting block after block on fire. They start burning the ghettos...the buildings, and this was the uprising which we...the small group on the Aryan side, we tried to get through. We tried to communicate. We decided even to go into the into the ghetto to be with them but it was, everything was in vain. We didn't have any communication. We saw only tanks coming in, tanks going out, or some ambulances going in and we're listening to the shooting and in that time it was...they...we have to let the outside know what is going on.
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