Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Guards in Camps

They had SS uniforms on?

No. They were w...wearing black uniforms. They were not wearing SS--they were not SS. The SS they had gone before. They left. This was not the SS. This was plain. They were wearing black uniforms. This was the gate guards from the camps.


No, not Wehrmacht.


No, not SD either. They were just plain guards from the camps.


All the guards from all the labor camps--I was in Chenstochov--Skarzysk were Ukrainians.

So they wore black...

Black uniforms. So...

??? too?


??? too? Was he wearing the same uniform?

This I don't rem...he might wear a German uniform, he might wear a German uniform. But the other two, they were wearing black u...so they came in. That Stiglits was a guy shorter than me, a little guy. He used to beat up some people. Used to have fun beating up people. So, then the Wachesleiter--the head from the guards, he says, in German, said--he opened up, there was about five thousand people at that time still in Chenstochov in the camp. He opened up one of the, the big doors there, to going out on the other side from the camp. Not where we used to walk in; on another side. They called it, the name was Stradom, that place. And he says, he wants us, hears this, he taking us with--because everything is going to be blowing up here. And he said like children, he says, "Kinder, I'm taking you with me so because everything here was going to be blown up. So should--nothing will happen to you." And he s...s...said we just march. And nobody marched. Everybody was standing still. And then, when he saw nobody was marching, he picked 'em, they all picked themself up and they left. They just left. So we were afraid they were gonna to come back or they're going to bring more people bring in. Because the three of them were not enough you know, to take out so many people. So they were going to bring in more people. So the night before, that Dr. ??? knew what they did in Skarzysko when they liquidate Skarzysk, they took all the people from the hospital, the one who were left in the hospital. There were some people in the hospital in the camp, so they, they went and they shot every one of 'em. One had a broken foot or some, some of 'em for the, had a couple more days or a day, or a temperature. They sh...they killed everybody. So he was afraid they were going to come in, they're gonna kill the people in the hospital. So the night before, he sent everybody out from the hospital. He emptied out the hospital. So we knew the hospital was empty. So a bunch of guys of us, there were quite a few there, went and we were hiding in that hospital. Figured they're going to come back, they're not going to come to the hospital. And they came in, they came into the hospital. So this guy ??? came back and a few more. And they took us out from the hospital. I don't know how many we were there. Fifty, a hundred ma...there, maybe more. And they took us out and--to march outside. And we went. So they took us out. But most of the people were left in Chenstochov. And they took us out and after we walked for about five miles, believe me we couldn't walk because we didn't sleep the night before. And at the daytime we didn't sleep because for excitement, we didn't know what was gonna happen, you know, just to go down in the barracks. So because we were working the day shift and the night shift. Or we were walking like we were almost like falling down. And uh, and all of a sudden the SS showed up from Płaszów. And they were w...walking men and women. And the SS sh...showed up from Płaszów. And they were taking us over. And then we crossed the German border. So we saw signs. And it was already daylight. And from the back you should see a whole night, the Russians were firing in the back and they'd light it up with reflectors you know, with the searchlight. And they were firing the back and they were--the SS, they were afraid like anything. They said, "Let's go faster, faster." And, uh...

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