Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Olga Adler - July 26, 1982

Transport and Soldier

So, they are going to shoot me right in front of these girls here with all the tenth ones. Because when it, when it was, they were standing here, he came to me and he put me right here. I was standing all alone in the middle here and they were... And then he came here and then I said to him, oh my God, you are going to shoot me right here and now. He says no, and he took me into the schoolhouse and he said, said sit down. I sat down to the, in the chair by the children, by the chair. We were sitting there at the desk. He took out all the pictures and the, and the uh, cards that I received from my parents and took out one picture. I'll show you the picture. And he said, now you write. He gave me a pen. With—uh, uh, it's hard for me to translate it to English—well, with thanks and gratitude for not shooting me uh, the date and my name. That's all. You saved my life or something, you know, to, to so and so. Write, to, to write the name on to Boris, I remember his name was Boris. He was a conductor on a streetcar. And he took the card with my name, with the date and everything and uh, and it happened here. And he had silver teeth. I don't know if it was silver, already kind of, it looked silver. And he came there and he kissed me. And that was ever that he touched me, this young man. I want you to know that from here on I went by foot by miles and miles and miles. He was one of the men who came with the transport. At night, we were standing, let's say, at a beach where there were those little dressing rooms, little individual little hut. He opened it, broke off the door, and opened it and let me sleep inside because we were frozen the ground already. At night, it was cold. We got, went, we lay down in the morning and you couldn't get up at night because you are frozen to the ground. And you had to go to the bathroom, the young girls, this man standing there with the bayonets. Can you imagine this feeling, this degradation, this everything and you have to take off your pants and go there. And this man, in the mo... every morning you have to stand in line, you know, it's like an army. He brought a beautiful apple, he threw it to me. He brought cigarettes from the city, he brought roast chicken. This man, I swear to God as I'm telling you the truth, never touched me. Sometimes the peasants if the, if they had some money they gave them some money they lent them horses and buggies and you could go in the transport. Some people who had the money they could sit. Because even they were tired of already going miles and miles. Whoever couldn't walk they were shot. But whoever could walk, walked. And whoever could hire a, a, a, a peasant's horse and buggy could go after that because they got already ??? for weeks and weeks and weeks like that. We even befriended those, those uh, those people who came with us, whoever were human, you know. This man helped me wherever he could. He, he put me up on a buggy for a few miles that I should rest. Then he, then we arrived to another place and then he went, sent back and we had somebody new. But this man had never touched me. As a matter of fact, I had to go, when I came to this country, I had a constant metal taste in my mouth. I haven't had one cavity here. I went from one dentist to the other, I went to doctors to find out why do I have that terrible metal taste in my mouth constantly. Finally I... to a psychiatrist who, and I told him this. Only I never told my children, my husband knows about it. I never told this to... I was telling this and for years my hands were numbing away. As soon as I went to, I wanted to fall asleep, I felt that both of my hands are dead and this metal taste. And as I was telling this, this psychiatrist I had to go for the restitution for the... I didn't, I had no problem in my mind...


You know, but...He asked me. And I told this story. And he told me that this is from the teeth, the memory of the teeth of that man who kissed me and the hands that were coming down, I was taking off the sweater, you know, my hands are numbing, numbing away as I was taking the sweater off, the movement, you know. Probably I had my hands numb when I taking it, I just didn't notice it. Since then, and I told this story and he told me what it is from, it disappeared from one morning. And I never think about those things, I want you to know. Never. Very seldom I talk about it. Never. So. We went to, to uh, they had camps in this... As people were walking miles and miles and miles, let's say they had to walk uh, twenty miles, twenty-five, thirty miles and there was a camp overnight already when you arrived. Then you can take a r... you could take a rest there. And they had some kind of a mush to give you to eat. And then next day you went farther. And in one camp I remember I took off my shoes and my feet got so swollen in the morning that I couldn't put my shoes back, because you are not supposed to take my shoes off when you are walking that much and I took off... I was very, very much difficulty for me with walking. It was terribly hard on me, I sometimes I thought I'm going to die right there and then. Who was, who was used to walking that much miles? This is a whole country walking through and not walking, without food, without anything, just walking with the, with the, the feeling that if you fall, well if you can't walk they are going to shoot you. You know, this was terrible.

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