Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982


You were in the camp in Theresienstadt?

Yes--no--yes, when they walked with us 'til uh, May the 8th or something and they didn't have where to go. So we went back and forth, back and forth and one night, during the night, I remember a whole night, they left us on a road--I don't remember how many people--and when daylight came in--and like I say, some chaps they knew where the, here's Theresienstadt, they say they know where they are. But we could see that the, the SS and all the, everybody disappeared. We were alone. When daylight--this was a whole night we were marching and when daylight you know, in, in May, five or six--was no guards, nobody. And we were at the front by the gates or whatever in the, in Theresienstadt. And we walked in and the Russians were there an hour later.

You walked into Theresienstadt.

We walked in, we didn't know who there is. We didn't even know that the Nazis left us. We could see it's quiet and thing, but we marched in. We could see camps and barracks and things so we--and uh, some people were there from the Red Cross and they knew it, that the Germans runned and it's the end of everything and they took us in. A few hours later you know, the day came in, it was, you know, in May, warm and nice, light. And they say the war is over and uh, took us in and with a little clothes. And there was a hospital and the Russians and, and a little bit of food and everything and it, it was the end of it. I mean, they say, "You are free."

The Red Cross people.

Red Cross people were there.

They knew that right away before the Russians came.

I don't know if the Russians were there or before, but they knew it. They told us, you are free. And then, like I say, by the end of the day we could see the Russians. So I don't know if they were there during the night or whatever, you know. Maybe they were on the outside or something to see if it's no more soldiers of or, or something against them to fight and they marched in or they drove you know, whatever, you know. But when, in the morning, it would be you know, like eight or seven, nine, the, the Red--they say, "You are free. Nothing to worry no more, you are free."

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