Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Asner - October 10, 1982

Eišiškes 2

Finally, one time we been on the highway far away from, maybe about twenty-five kilometer from that town. And I was working with a shovel on the highway, lots of Jewish people was working down there. And I see a German's come straight to me. I think to myself, what he's going to say to me. Finally he come to me and he said to me, "I see you are a good worker and you know what you're doing. You go on the end. If you want to work, work. If you want to work... If not, you not want to work, don't work, it's up to you." And Jews don't sit down. Because on account of me, he said, "You could sit down neither, or that guy which is riding on a motorcycle, he's watching him, you don't sit down because you'll be in trouble and I'll be in trouble." Fine. I... We just do dirty work and I was... On, on the end today they respect my work and everything. That was the end of this. Then we were working in lots of places. We used to come at home night. One time was a high school down there. One day they brought something to unload some kind of heavy stuff. And we unload in that uh, high school. In that, it was under the, under the town a, a little bit farther, a few kilometers. We were working up 'til late. And one German was speaking perfect Russian. Then I asked him from where he speaks uh, such a good Russian, the German. He was different, you know. Then he told me he's from Russia. Because there used to be on the Volga--maybe you, you hear them--used to live Germans down there. When he was in the Russian army and he been captured by the Germans and they find out he's a German, they took him in the German army. And then they uh, released... It was already a, a curfew by that time. I, I don't remember what time they, we allowed to, to go uh, to bed. It was too late. We asked them for a pass to go through. They don't give us a pass. They don't care if we got killed or not. Finally we come home.

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