Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Clara Dan - July 1, 1982


The Germans poisoned it...


before they left?

yes. The German poisoned the food. And all of a sudden we saw that the German SS women were cleaning the toilets instead of us Jews. So we knew that we are...


we got rid of 'em. How safe or what we still didn't know. And then uh, we just noticed that uh, big posters were posted, "Do not touch food." Twenty-four hours no food, no food, no water. We will bring you everything. And then they started bringing the food, the carrots, potato, meat and gravy. And uh, my sister wouldn't let me eat anything. She picked up--out a couple of potatoes and mashed it because she was afraid of the diarrhea for not eating for so many days, you know. And we were between the very, very few people who didn't have diarrhea. Because, you know, they were--and they started bringing ham and jelly and bread and, and can of spam. Golly. I'll never forget that. And we just had to look at it, I had to look at it. And my sister wouldn't let me open one can of food.

'Til you started.

'Til we started eating. And we were saved by the English, everybody took by the English. And then they started taking us to ??? which is a little town not too far from Han...Hannover. And, but before we got to--we were liberated already. So then they went us and took us to ???. And in ??? I--it was English people. It was like an army camp. It uh, must have been a stable for horses before because it still smelled when we went in, but it was clean. And the place had a hospital so they--we people could get into the hospital and what, they were taking care of the English people. In fact, this English girl, I think she was the daughter of the, of General Montgomery. And uh, they were very strict. Very strict but very nice people. So we were already in good hands. And at that time I still spoke French. And the camp had a French as a director, a French guy. And they were looking for somebody who can speak French and can translate it. So I went and uh, told them that I still speak French and I worked with him as a translator. And uh, the food was very good. And we were safe. And one day I was in a--while I was uh, when the director wasn't in--on the premise I had in the hospital kitchen to make sandwiches because at four o'clock it was teatime, so they had to get some food. Uh, one day while I was in the kitchen, an old woman comes in, in rags begging for food. And something on her eye was so fa...on her face was so familiar to me. The sight was so familiar. But I didn't pay any attention. And, of course when she spoke German we didn't give her any food. We just let her go out. And in the afternoon--and somehow the woman looked so sneaky, you know. Like she was afraid. But listen we were so happy it was after in a clean place and food and clean clothes and everything. Didn't pay too much attention. And in the afternoon the French--the director comes back and my God there is, there is a news bulletin out that the, the German SS Aufseherin ??? is hiding somewhere around here in rags, hungry, torn, no shoes, no nothing. And I thought in my head, oh my God she was in here and something was so, so familiar that I didn't know what it was. And the camp was searched and searched and searched and they didn't find her.

[interruption in interview]

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