Sahbra Markus Surviving The Holocaust Part 5 Lucky Guess



In this part of our series of Sahbra Markus’s amazing story. She shares what life was like when she and her family arrived in Russia. How they walked for miles and the many miraculous things that happened that kept them alive. From making candy to sell in the market to selling sucrose on the black market. There are so many ups and downs to this story it’s bound to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Episode Transcription

Intro Plays

Ari: My name is Ari Schonbrun. I’m your host. This episode is part five of Sabra marks his amazing, amazing escape during the Holocaust. Please help me welcome Sabra. Marcus. Sabra. How are you today?

Sahbra: Thank you. All right, we stopped last time when the commandant of the Russian barracks there crossing the river bog. We started our way out of that little wooden cabin, where he had his headquarters. And so we were a short distance away from that little cabin. My father whispered very quietly, very softly. To Deborah, do you know where we’re going? And she said, No. And as they whisper to each other, we come to a fork in the road. And my father whispers again. What do we do now?

And my mother said, if I remember correctly, my mom, my grandmother used to say, when in doubt, go to the right. My father said, What does that mean? She says, I have no idea. What since we have no way to go? We don’t know where we’re going. Why? Why don’t we do what my mama said. When in doubt. We have a fork in the road. Velvel we’re going to the right. And we did. And I’m dragging along holding onto Mama’s pocket that keeps tearing a little more every time. And we proceed to go to the right.

Now, how old are you? At this point?

I would suggest my goodness, I think I should be two and a half.

Okay, that’s what I thought. That’s what I thought. Okay. Please continue. Imagine

having to walk all these distances.

Right? That’s, that’s what’s amazing. But please,

you can say mama pick me out. She already has two big packages he’s carrying. And Papa is carrying a huge, huge one. And as we have made our way there is a voice behind it. Screaming out loud. And I peeked back to see what it was. And there is that red haired, pink pig man as I have anointed him with his hands around his mouth, yelling like key guests. Keep going. And at the same time I saw two men with a rifle standing with him on each side of him two soldiers and their rifles. were pointing at our back. Had we gone left? We would have been dead because there was no village on the left. It means Mama was a liar. Oh my god. So when in doubt, go to the right. Grandma’s expression of why no origin known mama used that expression and took us all to the right. And we got to life Wow I tell you, when I think of some of the miraculous things that happened, I can’t believe that those things actually happened. But I was there. I was there. Lucky guests. He screamed, keep walking. Those words I have been carved into my mind and into my heart. We kept on walking. Again, doing exactly the same, we didn’t fall and kept on walking. We walked through farms, farm land, geologists. Papa was no longer mute. Papa was no longer an invalid. It took us 48 hours for copper to be cured completely. was no no invalid. No, no, no inverse sale, not a person that was unable to speak. Papa would go into the farm houses. And Mama would explain that. We had lived in a village closer to the Polish border and it was bombed and it was burned. And we have no home and could pop up please do a day’s work for them in return for food. And many were generous. Others beat us and made a sleeve. T of Ray, you’re a Jew. And then you get beaten up. And one woman said I’ll take her mama said no. So Mama got beaten up, grabbed me grabbed the packages, and was attempting to run how the around with a child holding onto your neck and you’re holding on to two packages. But we get out. We kept walking and walking. The reason I mentioned in the previous segment, get an atlas get a globe and take a look. Look for so on your right. Then go all the way making your way west and look for two Russian satellites. One Uzbekistan and the other Turkmenistan why because they are 1000s and 1000s and 1000s kilometers apart. or miles. You you listening to this? You Ollie, tell me. How did we get from more sell to those two satellites of Russia. It is ages of working. And sometimes we get lucky and a man with a cart would let us hop aboard

any wagon any cart? Otherwise it was all by foot. How did we get 1000s upon 1000s of miles from Warsaw to is Pakistan and Turkmenistan. If I live to be 1000 I don’t think I will actually analyze and understand fully how something like that is possible how it is feasible. It’s almost impossible to believe it. But that’s what happened. So we come to a place called Golaud Murray, the city of Murray and it is hot. And it is summertime. It’s like living in the Mojave Desert. It’s like living in the Negev desert in Israel. It’s like living in the Sahara. The summer is treacherous. I don’t know the details. I was too busy. Fainting from the heat. And besides I was too young, too small. I didn’t know and I probably wouldn’t care. Somehow we found ourselves in a small apartment. And Papa said Papa was a brilliant pastry chef. He said if I could find some flour and some a little piece of butter. I could start baking and Mama’s said, baking is good. But there’s one thing that’s missing in this world today. With that, my mama was so proud. She says Candy says candy, something to suck on that sweet. That’s delicious. Nobody sells it. It doesn’t exist. And the Russians love sweet. Pepper said the Russians love sweet. He says yes. He says, okay, and where do I steal a sack of sugar? Mama says, we’ll do it legitimately. We will get a license. you’ll expose yourself. We will get a license. I don’t know how. But my mother, may she rest in peace, the Voer f4 emortgage Marcos was able to accomplish miraculous impossible deeds that no person on earth possibly could. I don’t know what she did. But we have a license for a whole sack of flour. And then she went out into the market and found items to use for color. And then she bought fruit and squeezed the fruit and used the actual essence of the fruit and the meat of the fruit and throw it into the big cauldron that Papa was using to cook. And she bought what I until this day, I have no clue what it’s called in English. But in Mama’s language, it was called voles machine GA LS machine. My mom, what is a verse machine? That’s a machine you pour the sugar and all the good stuff that Papa just cooked in there. And then it cools off. And then you pull it apart and you have candy and candy falls out of it. And then you and I will go to the market with a box and he will sell the candy and we will buy bread. This was like a whirlwind. My mother was a whirlwind. Wow. But that’s exactly what happened. Papa make candy. And then one day Papa overslept, and they can be overcooked and had a taste of burn in it. My mother was frantic she was madder than I had her. She says both you burned that was our last sugar. We have nothing. And he thought a little bit and thought a little bit and his genius showed up. You’re selling Cafe unless she looked at him as if he had lost his mind. She said I brought that tinge of burn into sugar. Made it taste like coffee can be

all of a sudden the only people in Russia were the Marcus family. Mama and I in the market selling coffee candy. People were standing in droves and Mama send me back to the house. Go get another package from Papa of coffee cans. But I wasn’t there to hold the money back. It was cut with a knife and all the money was gone. So all the profits of the coffee can be disappeared and we left the market without the penny on the floor he crawled over and grabbed the bag and took cut it with a knife. I wasn’t there. The bag wasn’t in my lap. I went to get more. I went to get more candy. So we came home with nothing. No money for food and no money. Then the heat was so horrific. We were we were unable. We couldn’t live we will die. One day I said to Papa we need to do something. We sit down with Scott today. Tonight you will actually sleep. Mama went up a long long ladder to the roof. She opened up a piece of roof and she threw it out there was some kind of cover. Then Papa started handing her buckets of water and she took them and the buckets disappeared under roof with Then it carried me out, handed me to her. And then he climbed it climbed up. I was sitting on the roof, and I was looking around. Oh, sorry. At this point, we already have Hi. Hi. I was born in Uzbekistan in Marie, soon after we arrived. And there we are. This is why I thought it was funny. We were in the market with one hand, my mother is selling candy with the other hand, she’s aiming Heinz mouth so she can breastfeed and sitting there exposed. But there was no other way. No other way. And they said, Mama Hymas eating? She said, Yes. And I said, Can I have the other one? She said, No, you have to guard the mill that the money. You have to guard the money, so I couldn’t get free. And I am three years old. So I beg your pardon. There we are. I am sitting on the roof. And I look around and I see huge angels shaking their wings, big white wings. And they disappear go down. And then another one pops up on a different roof and then 1050 Maybe 50 or 100 keeps showing up. Waving shaking their wings. They look like they’re going to fly off the roof. Beautiful angels. Said pop. Look at all these angels Papa. And he looked around and he says it’s okay honey, you will be one soon. I said my papa. Who are those beautiful angels? Look at them. They’re waving their wings. And then they close the wings. How do you see themselves and disappear? And when that’s when I saw my father. So I set up a what are they? What can they be? And he said much HEPA Duke a sheet and dunked it into the bucket of water. Took out, squeeze some of the water out. Wave that door open your arms. Mama opened her arms. He put the sheath around her back and put the edges into Mama’s hands. Mama closed her hands, shook her arms and looked like an angel getting ready to fly away. And then she closed her arms around her set down on the ground on the mattress went to sleep.

I said the angels paw These are real people those angels and Papa city you want to be an angel? I said why is because then you won’t be happy anymore. So papa put in a sheet a small sheet in the bucket of water. And I shook my arms like an angel is a thought he was going to fly. And he says Have yourself and lay down on the mattress. Go to sleep honey. That was a first what he did with time the same thing he wrapped them in a call sheet put him next to mama. And then he did the same for himself and I kept watching all these angels and all the rooftops of the city of my ray. They were no humans only angels, all of them on the roof. It took some time before papapa found out about that trick. And we suffered so terribly. Papa became unwell. We don’t know how he was never anywhere else than where we were. That he started coughing and he became very unwell. And then the fever Kay.

purposes. I’ll be okay and okay. And then he did become okay. And we couldn’t get any more sugar. We couldn’t do the candy anymore. Mama couldn’t his mama couldn’t get if mama couldn’t get sugar then no one A nurse can do it because mama could do anything.

Papa went out and took an absolutely horrific chance of getting a job with the Russians. But they desperately needed people to work in the bakery. So he went. He was there for a long time. And every time he came home, he did something very strange. He would walk over to the kitchen table and turn his pockets inside out on top of the table as he leaned over, and lots of lots of white powder would fall out. Mama, what is it? Oh, it’s nothing. Mama, what is it? That’s a little bit of sugar. Mama, what is it? It’s nothing. And that will come and on and on and on. And when Papa finish stamping his pockets, mama had a very big hanky, that she doubled over. And she would carefully sweep with the tip of her finger over into the hanky and tie it up. And this could go on for a long, long time. And sometime in the daytime. Mama would say take care of your brother. I was about three and a house. Haim is six months old. Take care of your brother. I’ll be back soon. I’m three and a half babysitter. I am an insurance. I am unearned income. Jaime’s a nuisance but I’m a I’m a middle girl. Don’t let go of home he’s gonna die. So now we have another candidate that for die. Don’t let go of home. He will die. Okay, Mama. Okay, now what number was doing? Papa was stealing small handfuls of saccharin. saccharin was worth its weight in gold. It was the only commodity for sweet sugar was non existent. That’s why she couldn’t get another license. So papa was stealing soccer. And I stayed as a babysitter to watch Hi him. So Mama can go to the market where the black market portion was where people were reeling and dealing and things that have been stolen in things that are illegal, immoral and more. And she’s come back with food. Sometimes I remember one she actually had a piece of chicken and this went on for a long time. And while all this is going on, my brother Yaqoob is born. Jakob is about a year and a month, a year and a month older. Yaqoob is a year in amongst younger than Hi. So now I have two children to take care of. Because I’m such a big girl you see

somebody started yelling from the hallway. In that little building where we live. Every family no matter what size they were 546 2900 Everybody has one room in that house. And that house was putrid with everyone cooking cabbage. That entire building was a source of stench. cabbage, cabbage and more cabbage. That was the only thing anyone could afford. It was the cheapest item and that was plentiful. The farmers were growing it a woman was yelling they’re coming. They’re coming my mother rearranged something didn’t have much time. And our door burst open. Tea. Marcus, you Marcus, where are you hiding it? She said, I don’t know what do you mean? Hiring what? I have a little girl, two boys. They’re both right here. We’re not hiding. We live here. We belong here. They were born here is the Russians.

They turned that little room upside down. They broke everything that could be broken, broke everything. We will find it and you will go to jail you and your breaths, you will Oh rot in jail. And your husband is going to jail, you will start. She kept saying I don’t know what you’re looking for. I don’t know what you’re looking for. Tell me what it is. I’ll help you. We’ll find it together. What is it? What is it? And finally, when there was nothing left to break, no more intimidation to left. Let her make her speak and say something they want to hear. They decided it’s time to get out.

So they left. before they left, they said maybe you don’t understand how serious this is. And one of them was coming towards her and I thought he was going to beat her. This when my mother did something unbelievable.

I glared at her I almost shrieked for her to stop. But I wasn’t on time. Because what I saw her do is pinch. My brother Jaco very, very hard. That child never cried. Yaakov was a little angel. I realized Angel never cried, never complained. He was the sweetest little baby on Earth. And I saw her pinch him and pinch him and the more she pinched, the more solid he was then she started the other side and pinch the other leg. That’s when he shrieked and started screaming worse as she kept pinching and pinching. The screaming and the trying the cry finally got on their nerves. They said we’ll be watching you and they left split slamming a door. The only thing that wasn’t broken and when they left, oh yes, before he left, he said change those breaths. They stink. And that was true. Everybody stunk. The house, the children. They left. Mama walked over to a big package and said on this car Come help me that start with the ankles. She starts to unravel and unwrap all his all his diapers and rags. I mean, there were no diapers. So she unraveled all the rags that we had. When she took off the force, the first few portions of the regs there was nothing then I’m saying well, why was he screaming? Why was he stinking so bad? And then she got to another read except that it was big and sink and covered in numerous handkerchiefs and a scar. She removes that. And then came the diapers that were soiled. Mama wrapped a gigantic package of Sekaran in between the diapers that Yakov was wearing. That’s why no one could find the factory. That’s why everything in the house was broken and destroyed. But Mama saccharin will say Wow, we had months worth of food in that package. Had they taken it we would have starved. So

the miracle

now Mama is wrapping your calls with fresh ragss mama change time with fresh rags. Cuddling, cooing singing to them trying to calm them down. Poor young color never never complained. He was the sweetest child that to me that he was a true Angel. Crime was the one that had the black hair and the dark eyes just like mama, and always looked like he was judging everybody. That two year old child was judging everybody wasn’t till he was about one and a quarter. Okay, I’m saying my, my he’s big. She says, but look how smart he is. I said, Yes, he seemed it he looks like he understands every word we say. She says maybe he does. Proper came home that night. And he said, I think they’re in trouble. Joy is everything safe and Okay. She says everything is okay. Is it hidden in the right place? She says it’s everything is in the right place. A few minutes later. Yes. Yeah. I’m sorry. Did you want me to break down? No, a few minutes later. A few minutes later. Again, the door banging with a fist. Marcus, you’re under arrest.

Ari: Okay, we’re going to stop here. You’ll be listening to whispers in bricks. The Amazing story from Sabra Marcus. This is the end of Part Five. Stay tuned. Stay tuned for Part Six. Coming soon. Remember, this is whispers and bricks. Always listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never give up on your dreams. Bye for now.