Gershon Flam

"I hope they don’t know, never know, even from far end, what we went through."

Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Lodz, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Mojsze, Ran a flour mill
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Chaya Dluganoga, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, Shlomo, Leah (Lotka), Yisroel (Israel), Yaakov and me
How many in entire extended family?
We had a large extended family
Who survived the Holocaust?
My parents, all five children and two uncles
Our family was interred in the Lodz ghetto in 1941 where we experienced the horrors of ghetto life and daily deportations. We hid in the abandoned buildings.  There was death on the streets of the ghetto. I remember hangings, shootings and hunger.  I remember my parents and siblings saving their potatoes from the thin soup my mother made.  They gave it to me.  They thought I needed it more than they did.

There was a wagon with children on it.  I was one of those children.  My father pulled me off the wagon and saved my life.  These children were deported and gassed.  How was he able to do this?

I remember the selections and hiding under a laundry tub in a vacant, bombed out house for hours in order to be saved from being sent to Auschwitz.  I stayed there until the selections were completed and someone came to get me out.

When there were only 850 Jews left in the ghetto, including my family, we were liberated by the Russians in early 1945.  We remained in Poland for over a year.  

We made several attempts to leave Poland.  In 1946, on one of those attempts, 27 Jews were caught by the Armja Krajowska (Polish AK), an organization like the Ku Klux Klan.  Most were executed, including my brother Israel.  Six of us managed to survive by escaping into the woods.  

I hid in a ditch on the side of the road.  We were later picked up by the Polish police.  I contacted my brother in Lodz who brought us back to Lodz.  He ran the “Brichah” in Poland, and I was taken to the Czech border and then to Germany.  

In 1946, my family, together with 4500 Jews, left Germany on the ship “Exodus” but were intercepted by British soldiers.  We were loaded onto two destroyers and taken to Cyprus.  We were returned to Germany and placed in a DP camp.  After obtaining false papers, we left for Israel on the ship “Olympia.”  I lived in Israel for twenty years and served in the Israeli Army during the Sinai War of 1956.  I immigrated to the United States in 1966.

Name of Ghetto(s)
Where were you in hiding?
Lodz Ghetto
What DP Camp were you after the war?
Yes, In Germany
Where did you go after being liberated?
Poland, then Israel
When did you come to the United States?
Where did you settle?
Detroit, Michigan
How is it that you came to Michigan?
My sister Lotka was here
Occupation after the war
When and where were you married?
1968 in Detroit
Irene, Lab technician
Ruth Kriegel and Michael D. Flam
Three: Bradley, Nicole, and Aaron
What do you think helped you to survive?
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
I hope they don’t know, never know, even from far end, what we went through.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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