There by the boundary, by the wall, by the gateway, the question is being decided: whether the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto will die of hunger or not. Whether it's a question of the smuggling of a handful, or a dozen kilos of potatoes by an individual child, or the hundred quantals1 of grain thrown over the walls, or the thousands and tens of thousands of kilos of potatoes and grain that passes the ghetto's main gates—it is the same choice everywhere: death by starvation, or death by bullet, and in all cases the latter is the preferred option. Here are a few tragic occurrences: a mother of five-six children stands with three of them by the boundary on Krochmalna street. She puts a few dozen złotys2 into to the hand of one child, of about 10-12 years of age, and pushes the child out through the wires. The child, emerging on the "lucky" Aryan side, is immediately shot and falls down dead. The mother, without wasting a moment or shedding a single tear, grabs the money from the dead child’s little hand and gives it to the second child, who is also pushed through the wires and also falls victim to a bullet; the mother does the same as she did the first time: she grabs the money from the dead child's hand and gives it to the third child (all three were girls) saying: "At home I still have three more mouths to feed." The third child manages to crawl through unharmed and succeeds in smuggling home the contraband to fill the mouths of those who remained. The mother did not need to look out for them long: that very same day she too fell victim. The eldest girl, fourteen years old, was then left to provide for them. She continued smuggling. This story of the mother and her children is not a unique one: people tell of another woman who pushed her fourteen-year-old son through the fence and as soon as he fell, she grabbed the money from his hand and gave it to a second child—a twelve year old—who was not frightened by his brother's tragic fate. With luck he succeeded in crawling through.
Here is a conversation overheard between two children by the wire fence on Krochmalna street: "You’re going over to the German side? Are you not afraid?"
"What do I have to be afraid of? My mother has no food to give me so I’m going over to the other side, I've managed it before."