At 21, Frank was the youngest platoon commander in his all-Jewish unit of 400. Toward the end of the war, his unit escorted the future Prime Minister of Poland to a secret meeting with the Soviet high command.
Those who could not come with us, that could not fight, we found shelter for them by farmers, some of them, who made bunkers for them; and they lived there until the area was liberated. And then in Parczew Forest there were maybe 200 Jews like that, in the forest, living until the end. They were under our protection. All the bandits knew if they were going to touch them, they were going to be punished for that.
Any Jew who wanted to join us was welcome. And any Jew who could not join us and not be with us at that time, we helped them, put them in a hiding place or we had a place also in Parczew forest that were, about 200 people, living in the forest hidden there, had a little hiding place, you know, like a wetland area and we supplied them with food and things like that.
I vaguely said good-bye to them. My family, we understood that I will not go freely. And I had no choice because I didn't know where I'm going. I, myself, I could take a chance myself. But at that time I didn't know where I am going. I had no plans whatsoever. And all were young... And my parents, my father was religious, and he would never leave the family alone. And there was no way I could offer him to go with me, because I didn't know where I'm going. Because there also was the Germans had spread a rumor that they going to make in Lubartow a ghetto of all the Jews around Lubartow, to make them believe they will be resettled, not going to be taken to any death camps and so on. That was the situation. But I didn't believe them, so I ran away.
Now when we acquired firearms, we acquired, also, power. Power from a gun has all the languages. You don't have to know how to speak nice or so on. When you're armed, you got everything. Whatever you ask in the blink of-- You understand what I mean? But we did not abuse our power. This was the greatest thing that we did and I'm happy about it... We didn't harm any innocent people. We tried our best. Sometimes innocent people got killed because of us... I am very proud of myself and my group, the way we behaved, in general, to the people.
We were afraid of all of them, and we were not afraid of anything. Because it didn't mean anything for us. You want to know how we felt? I can tell you one thing. We did not expect that we were going to survive. And we knew we have to do what we have to do today, and we were not afraid to die because all our families were gone. We were just trying to do the best we can.
We never tried to measure danger. The odds - every mission was dangerous. If you go get drinking water - was dangerous. To get food was dangerous because all the farmers over there had firearms, and they knew how to use it, you understand? So no matter what you did - and we never thought, we never had time to think, which mission to take, which not. We had to do what we had to do at the moment.
We went through many hardships, many sufferings, I can tell you. But somehow, we overcame all that suffering. And let me tell you another thing. The first two months we were in the forest, it was very bad. We went through hunger, scary beatings, all kinds of things. But none of us, including me, was complaining. You know what I was saying? This is still better than to be in a concentration camp or a death camp, no matter what it is. And tomorrow going to be another day. That's how I was telling myself, and all the others were saying the same thing. And that's how we overcame all these things. You know, we were sleeping in the forest in freezing rain, in storm, snow, on the snow. The snow covered us up. In the morning I got up - was a blanket of snow. That's how we were living for the first few months. Sometimes for several days going around wet, hungry, but still we didn't give it up. We were hardened, not softened.