Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Bombing of Dresden

Um, the munition factory in, in Dresden was bombed.

That's right.

Can you describe it?

One evening the sirens were on and uh, because we were told before that uh, we have to be ready. If we hear sirens, we shouldn't hesitate. We shouldn't look for anything to pick up or save or whatever. We should run straight down to the bunkers because underneath the factory they were built, they were, they had uh, bunkers. So--oh God--it was one evening. The minutes we heard the sirens we had hardly any time to start running. The bombs were already coming down. So 'til we got down--and they were bombing fact...many places. But the bomb struck the factory we were in. My sister and I, we were fortunate to run fast enough with sheets over our heads wearing down. And there were a lot, a lot of dead people. There were a lot of casualties that time in the factory, because people didn't make it fast enough down the steps. And all the windows were shattered out from the, from the factory because we didn't have a chance even to get to the bunker, bunkers. So we ran out on the streets, on the street. And the street was on fire because there was a burning bomb fell on the factory. So--but there was a whole bunch of us and one tried the other one you know, to try to get the fire out. And we were just running around like wild animals and the sky was full of airplanes and the bombing was going on. And in the middle of the night, the whole sky was so lit up that it just looked like daylight. And they were just coming, one after the other. You know, in my heart I was just thinking, for heaven sake, they don't mean us. We are just--we are hones...innocent, they--butů Or they didn't know because there were a lot of uh, ammunition factories then. And a lot, a lot of them were killed. And while we were running, and it was, it wa...until daylight, we didn't know where to go, what to do. We couldn't, couldn't just go, run through the city. We had, didn't have any clothes. We didn't have uh, we came down uh, without anything. And uh, the city was on fire. And uh, in the morning when they stopped bombing, it looked like uh, it, it is just uh, like to scare off the Germans or whatever. It wasn't like they are bombing and then they are marching in. So we were so hungry, like uh, after all that ter...terrible experience, after living through that horrible terror, through that terrible night, I can recall that we saw laying there a burnt uh, deer. So we were staying around and looking at it. Like what other food can we get. So we're trying with our fingers, with our hands, to uh, rip off little pieces and we were eating it. It had a, a taste from heaven. [pause] After--we were few of uh, quite a few of the people together what we worked before, what were from the factory. And we knew that quite a large amount of our friends and our people what we were together with them quite for awhile already, they were killed. We don't even know or they bothered to get them out from there or whatever. Because the factory was destroyed and nearby was another little building. So we got there and the SS and all the other uh, uh, Sturmführers they called us that we shouldn't try--we shouldn't even think to go any other place because there is no way for us. The war is still going on and this was just uh, one of those things that the American came and they bombed. They went away. They won't come back. And we have still--they need us and we have still to work for them and they will find for us another place to work. And for the time being we should all gather in that other place until uh, they will let us know what they want to do with us.

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