Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Charlotte Firestone - March 11, 1982

Treatment by Wehrmacht

Not SS.

Not SS. SS stood for ???, but Wehrmacht. And one Wehrmacht captain had--how you call a Putze? You know, he was like this, took care of him. How you call those, you know, from...


Is it an Adjutant?


Thank you and he came out in the kitchen, Yeah and I--my sister was there and I was there, because they brought in bread and Macha told us we should slice bread in five, you know, bread like that. We should--a square bread, so we should slice it in five and somehow, I was slicing it and it didn't come out five, just four. I don't know if I did it on purpose or how it happened. It came out four and Emma Macha saw it and she came to me and she gave me such a licking. She was such a big, fat, slob and she gave me a licking and she send me out to the barn and at first I was called in and then, because I--you know--so she send me back o the barn. As I came out, I had to go through the kitchen--as I came out, I saw the captain came out and he said to her that, "Who you think you are?" The first time, because they had stoves, you know, when they were making fire with wood, you know and those had rings. You know, you had to take out the rings and let it in the pot in order to--they didn't have enough firewood evidently and I was standing there and he said, "You, you, who you think you are? You are not a German woman. A German wo...woman wouldn't do what you are doing, keeping those women here like, like animals. What did they do to you?" My, my, I forgot already. "My men came out the third time already to make me coffee and you take it out and you put you pot there. Couldn't you wait 'til that water is going to boil, 'til that coffee is going to boil. I should have a coffee." She said, "No, you don't deserve it. Because of you, our Führer is going to lose the war." He said, "It's about time, he should lose the war, because he is not human and you are not human either." And then she said, "Give me your name. I'm going to write it down and I 'm going to make a report." So he gave him--he gave her the name and, and the regiment and everything. He says, "Who are you going to report it now? Don't you see the war is almost over?" Why do you want to report? You wouldn't mind if that war would last forever, because look how you look. All, uh..." How you said it, all, you know, like somebody is doing nothing, just eating and having it good, but that has a word in German, you know and she went and she gave him a licking. And he said, "No German woman would pick up a hand and give a licking to a man. And you everything but German." I'll never forget that and then she saw where I'm standing, but I'm so cold. The end of January, February. Let's see and uh, she came down and she just threw me out from the kitchen. So I went to the, to the barn.

You, you noticed the difference then between the Wehrmacht and the SS.

Yeah, that--oh I know this before, because when we were in Praust, we had go into Danzig to get some bread. They, they picked up bread and food and there was one time when I went too, because it was like that from the bakery, we were standing up in a line, you know, like there uh, was uh, the man from the bakery one was standing and counting and the other one was delivering. Delivering it for me and I for the other one and then the third one was standing on the, on the truck--excuse me, it was standing on the truck and there was--then when we came back, already, there was German people who was hollering, "Aushalten, Aushalten." And at the end, it's already almost end of the war, that we should already try to manage to live it through. You know, the people on the street and the Wehrmacht, you know, when the SS didn't hear us and didn't see us, he said, "We should already uh, it's close to the end. Try to live it through." But heaven help, because we had to rent the truck from the Wehrmacht. SS didn't have a truck. We rented the truck from the Wehrmacht, but Wehrmacht wouldn't give us the truck unless they had their own driver. They didn't trust the truck to the SS.

All right. Now you, you're, you're in Germany now. You went to Germany? You left Danzig?

Are we on now?

Yeah, yeah.

Oh, we are on.


I didn't know. The German--when we start walking, we went deeper into Poland.


Not Germany. They took, Yeah--took to Poland. And that's where, I remember that we wanted to escape before then, already, before that, that Ukraine SS told us. The three of us went away and uh, the Hauptscharführer was counting and the three of us was missing. So they stand there for us. Four escaped and the SS came and found us and the Hauptscharführer wanted to kill us. Then he come his own gun to kill us. And we started to beg and that we got lost, we went to look around and we got lost and we didn't want to escape. Those people, Yeah, so we escaped and as we were...

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