Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Biegun - February 13, 1983

Conditions During Transport

Would you describe the train for me?

It was a freight train. It was no toilets, no nothing, just like--shipped us like cattle.

You were--had anything to eat?

Nothing. Well, they used to give us uh, bread and, and hot water--boiled water, that's all. When we got there we didn't--they didn't have anything there, you know. No electricity, no uh, hardly any food there.

Now you say you traveled for how long?

About, as far as I remember about four weeks maybe, five weeks.

You were together with your whole family?

Yes.

Were you always on the same train?

Yes.

Wife: In a train like, like that you have no room to move. It's not like the trains here.

Just had a few lofts, you know, sleep there.

Old people, young people?

Old people, mostly old and, and women and children. There were a couple Jewish families, some uh, some White Russians and Polish families.

So it wasn't all Jews.

No.

Did anybody resist in any way?

No, couldn't.

Why not?

You get shot. I mean uh, my father tried to open the door, you know, to go find a, a toilet hole. They were looking--they were going to shot him--shoot him. They, they thought he, he was going to escape or something, you know, but he was looking for a...

What...

Then, then they took him away to a--it's like a, a labor...

Wife: It's a working camp.

A working camp, like, you know, they took him away dur...during the war.

Anybody die on that train trip?

Not that I know.

All right. You traveled for four or five weeks, you say.

Yes.

When the train finally stopped, where were you?

They took us on, on trucks.

Do you know where you were at?

No, we didn't know.

Do you--had you any idea why you were on that train?

No.

Still no idea.

No.

They took you in trucks...

Yes.

...your whole family together.

The whole family.

To where?

About, uh...

Wife: The name of the place.

...to uh, this was the northern Kazakhstan, which is uh, it's called Siberia.


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