Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Experiences with Russians

Tell me about the night with the Russians.

Oh God, when I saw them uh, I, I di...I didn't know too much history. What I know is that now what been on, on TV and with the war and everything. Uh, I have no idea, but their appearance, it's enough to let you know how barbaric they are [pause] they're animals.

What did they look like?

Like animals. I mean, really ani...you look at it and that's it. I uh, I, I used the o...I mean, I was the big shot over there. I said, "You girls better behave tonight. One breathing, one breathe, we're all gone." All they were looking is just uh, for kicks you know, to, to--for their pleasures.

So they found you, were you in a house?

They didn't see us. We saw them. We saw them. We were approaching a home already. But they were going to catch us before, you know. We--they didn't see us. If they, if they saw us, we wouldn't be safe.

So really, you liberated yourselves.

Right. By, by ourself. One day you know, I says, "Girls, we are free." And, I was a big joker, you know. Listen, you--even today, even when I was sick two weeks ago, so what. It'll be all right. We all, all get better. It's better than say I'm going to die. And uh, we were--got liberated and they--and outside. We were put in a--we took with me I took a bottle of uh, uh, Sweet 'N Low. What they used to call the pills?

Oh. Saccharin.

Saccharin. So whatever we saw, a little water you know, dirty or clean at least to put something to...

For energy.

Yeah, energy and not to dry out.


So when we survived the, the Russians because they're stupid anyway, barbaric they are, but they have no brain. Uh, we a...approached this house. Let me tell you, the old man, if he didn't die is too much. They were baking bread, you know uh, in uh, a barbecue--in a fireplace in their home. So they open and I think they pray, they prayed very hard. They were too old, you know. And then we have a thought you know, look who knows what our parents are, what they doing to our parents, you know. Let's behave. They give us two loaves of bread.

These are Germans.

And they got rid of us.


German family. It was a German town. And then we start putting all the energy how to get out of there. So they give us some instruction on how to get you know, to where we wanted to get. It's like the UNNRA, you know. Whoever was in charge of the refugees. And if it wasn't for that uh, going through the bridge. More people died there than anywhere else.

So you, you had, you were trying to find UNNRA or the Joint.

Right. Somebody, you know. Then uh, we finished with that you know, and we went uh. They took us in a, in a big uh, again, another big barrack you know, with a, a soldier uh, whatever they call it here.


You know, a big uh, where they meet you know, the soldiers. And, and we have uh, some kind of little uh, beds over there you know, the...

Where was this?

Uh, this wa...this was in Munich.

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