Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mala Weintraub Dorfman - September 15, 2005


When did you first suspect that the war was coming to an end?

She told us.

Mrs. Hoffman told you.

She told me.

She said the Russians are coming?

She didn't know who's coming, but uh, she didn't tell me the Russians, but she said, it's the end of the war. Stay where you are, don't move out. And that's exactly what I did. She said, I have to go, but you stay. When she went away, I knew that it's over, I knew.

Earlier she had wanted to have you escape.

She wanted me to escape from Skarzysko.

Where would you have... where would she have sent you?

To her hometown, but I didn't want to go.

Ah. In Germany?

Yeah, yeah.

To Kassel.

Yeah. But I said to her, "Mrs. uh, uh, Frau Hoffman, if I live through the war, and no Jews going to be there, what am I gonna do?" I said, "I want to go back to camp." So, she took me back.

You would rather have died.

That's right than be left alone. What am I going to do? They didn't expect anybody to live through the war.

And back in Częstochowa, did you hear artillery coming, did you hear...


...guns, nothing?

No, no we didn't. No we didn't.

So, how did you know you were liberated?

No, this was in Częstochowa, not Skarzysko. We were liberated in Częstochowa.

Częstochowa, did you hear artillery fire there?

We, we heard, yeah, in Częstochowa we did, but we didn't know they hitting us or not us, who they going to fire, we didn't know. But when we saw the guard from up there-there was a guard, you know, on the roof there. I don't know if, you know, they had a special place that they were standing-and we looked up and we didn't see the guard there anymore, we knew it's over. We knew it's over then because he, he ran away too.

And then what?

That was it. But you know what, the people when they said, oh we are free, and they dropped dead.

They dropped dead.

They could not do it anymore. Men, for men it was worse than for women there. Men needed more food and they didn't get it, you know. It, it was hard, it was hard. And then I had a friend, she was working at the machinery and there were Polacks working. So she... They always brought her something, and she was sharing with us, you know what I mean? It was easier for women than for men to survive.

[interruption in interview]

When, when liberation came, did anybody go into the warehouse and eat too much and then just...

That's what happened.

They died from the food.

Yeah, that's what happened, yeah. They went into the ca... uh, what do they call it? Not the warehouse, they call it differently. I can't remember now in general what they called it. But sure they went in and they start eating fast. They didn't know what to grab first. And some people wouldn't take it.

But you held back.

But I held back. I... If I couldn't eat the ham when they gave me and I was hungry, I could hold back when I went out. Like I said, we took the sugar. I don't remember that we took something el... I don't really remember. But we could sell the sugar, so we could get bread. We were free then. When we got out and got the sugar, so we could sell it to the Polacks. And we got bread and we got other stuff to eat. But I didn't stay too long in Częstochowa, I went to Pol... to Łódź. As soon as Łódź was liberated, I went to Łódź.

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