Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Evacuation from Auschwitz II

This was Wehrmacht?

Wehrmacht. The SS were still running around in the villages. Whoever reached a home they took 'em out. A friend of mine, he lives in New York, he got shot. Fifty people they took out from that, that village outside in a field, and, and shot 'em. See, that friend of mine he was shot in the arm and they saw he's, you know, laying on top of all the dead and bleeding and he didn't say nothing, so they left. And when they left, he started to yawn and yell and scream and, and a farmer came and picked him up. And he took him about six kilometers from that little village to a hospital. And when he took him to the hospital, it was too late. A gangrene and they took off his whole arm. But still he was lucky. He's alive today with that, with one arm. And he was between those ??? Now when we started to walk, we saw the first farmhouse. We knocked on the uh, on that window and we didn't hear no response. We knocked again. A woman came and put away the curtains, looks out. You know, we were not shaved, twelve days marching. In April was rain and we were complete soaked through and through. Even that, that little jacket, you know, we had, that uh, striped with the pants, through and through wet. And didn't, you know, was scared. And they looked at us--was no man, woman. A few minutes late she came to the door with a, you know, the farmers they bake their own bread, that big bread, big loaf, round, and a pitcher of milk. And she opened slowly the door and give us, you know. Says we don't want, we not--we can't eat. We want to go in and lay down, you know. Lay down and dry out. We, we not hungry, you know. We just want to lay down and, and dry out. She says there's still the SS troopen running around and taking out people. She says, the only thing I can do for you. They were just here maybe ten minutes ago. Go up on, in, in the, and go in the barn and there's a ladder. You go up there, there's hay. And you hide underneath the hay 'til I'll call you down. And that's exactly what she did. We went up there and, and we were underneath that hay hiding on the end, by the wall. And then we--at night, SS came in and we hear the voice--you know, they, they talk loud--and they go up on the ladder and with, I, with bayonets they were in the hay. But thank God, if they would go up on the hay--but they were standing on the ladder and just we heard that, that, you know, they were looking if somebody didn't hide. And they went back down. And the next morning the woman yells we should come down. She says, there's Americano, you know, Americans are here, tanks. You can imagine. When we came down and walked to the street we see the white stars on the green--first we didn't know what kind soldiers, you know, 'til we got close. And then, you know, every nationality. I knew that in America it's all kind of uh, nationalities. Polish, you know, I, I speak Polish. So I figure, somebody's got to be, you know. Nothing. I couldn't speak a word of English. I says, Polish, Polish, Polish. Oh Stan! Right away they called, you know, American boys. And they could a little bit, a few words, I could communicate, you know. Every American uh, Polish kid speaks a few words, you know, from the parents. It was a sergeant. He says, listen, we just the occupation. The only thing, he says, I'll go in to that farmer and I'll tell him to give you clothes and to, and I'll tell him what to feed you. He says, you can't--this was the third army, the medics--uh, you can't eat fat. He, he, he tells me, you know, he says, otherwise you're going to die. The only thing you could eat is toast and lean soups. No fat. The first two weeks, tea. Little by little fill the stomach, he says. Because when you start right away, the fat food, you can't survive. You get diarrhea and die. So, that's what we did. Maybe six, seven boys we were there by that farmer. And he told the farmer what to do and everyday we had toast and tea and pigeons. See pigeons, every farmer got thousands of pigeons there. Each farm has got 'em. So, everyday the woman caught a few pigeons and she cooked the pigeons for us. Pigeon soup is like water. No fat whatsoever. A pigeon is not fat. You never heard it. A pigeon is white meat like, taste a little bit like chicken. But when you cook that in, in, in water, there's no fat, just clear soup with no fat in it. And this we ate 'til we got through half of that uh, pigeons, you know. After a month we started to feel a little bit, you know. I weighed eighty-seven pounds when I was liberated, eighty-seven. I couldn't even see good. The vision, my vision was so bleary, and I was young. But from not eating. Every time you get uh, if you're hungry--God forbid you should know about it--if a person is hungry it, it gets bleary a lot of times before your eyes, you know. You don't, you weak, and you're bleary. And day to day you get weaker and weaker and the vision get weaker, you know. And we really recuperated there in that farm. And then I went. I says, I don't want to stay on the farm, it's already three months, you know. So, I told that woman--it was no man. And she took me with a horse and wagon to a city.

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