Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Transport to Nordhausen

What were the circumstances under which you left Gross Rosen?

Oh, the Russians start moving--they start liquidating the camp. So they, they took me to Nordhausen. This was not far from Dora.

They, they marched you out, another march?

No, they took us on the train. So some of 'em they took off in, in uh, in Nordhausen and some of 'em they went to Dora.

When you were in the train--were they boxcars?

Yeah. Open cars.

Open cars.

Oh yeah. Open cars, open.

Had you heard about the trains going to Treblinka and Auschwitz?

No, in Gross Rosen. No, we didn't have that kinda news there.

Or at any other time either.

No, no, no.


I think Treblinka was already liquidated there a long time. But I didn't hear nothing, no.

Did you ever ta...when you were in the train with other prisoners...


Did you discuss the possibilities of where you were going, maybe escaping?

Escaping, there was no possibility.

No, okay. So what, did you talk about...

We, we didn't know where we're going. We didn't know where they were taking us. We had no idea.

Did you talk at all?


Did you talk at all?

Oh yes. Yes, we talked. Some people died on the way there in the train too. There were dead people.

What did you do with the bodies on the train?

What they do?

What did you do when they died?

When they died they left 'em. They were here like this. I don't remember how many days we were going. I believe it was uh, like six days or something that the journey took place. So in the morning, they took all the bodies and they took 'em the one, they took 'em the one trailer whatever, and one trailer and they left 'em there on that trailer.

Did any, did any of your friends die?

Not on my eyes.

So none of the, none of the people who died on the train were close to you.

No, no, no.

Did you make friends, good friends?

Oh yes. Yes. Had a very, very good friends in Czenstochov. I made good friend in Gross Rosen the same guy. He was a tailor. And when they took me to work in the kitchen. So I used to steal--I used to eat whatever I could. And I used to steal some stuff and I used to bring it to that barrack there. I used to give him some food. And they used to search us. Sometimes they did and they sometimes they didn't. They searched, they used to give a few whips. I used to get a few whips, was taking out some food, what--food. Carrots and stuff like this. But it was uh, something, some nourishment, so.

You helped each other.

Oh sure.

Were there other examples of people helping each other?

Sure. There were.

Tell me some.

Everybody was looking out for himself to survive


...ev...first. But, you know, if somebody had uh, like I sai...had a surplus or something. I couldn't sell it or stuff like this, like when I, in Gross Rosen this guy from there I made friends with him from Czenstochov. And when we--in Gross Rosen we were together. So I used to bring him whatever I could. I used to bring him uh, like uh, when I had a opportunity in the kitchen, I brought him. I was working in the kitchen. I brought him some food if I could. That was the only thing I could help him. I couldn't help with anything else. There was no money there. That thing over there. When you came on the German soil, everything disappeared.

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