Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Death March

And they took them away, of course they were shot. We heard later. But, but not too many, not too many. So we were on foot westward from Warsaw--westward.

So August '44.

August--beginning of August forty...'44. Terrible hot. No food, practically. Especially no water. That, that was the most terrible experience that this, from Warsaw to westward. And the you know, and people are falling. Who fall behind they were shot. They shot them because they couldn't go--couldn't walk. And the Polish uh peasants you know, whether they're anti-Semitic or not, but they wanted to help us with water. They were standing outside with water. The SS didn't let us. They, they turn away.

Was this the first time you saw people shot?

Yeah, oh. Uh, people shot uh, yes! I didn't see it before. I didn't see. I didn't see before. I didn't see before.

How did you react to that?

Yeah you know, you know, we didn't, we didn't see shot because we tried to go the front you know, the big five thousand people. We always tried to march. And they shot, shot who, who stayed in the back, you know. So, we were young relatively. We were relatively good health. My father was in good health, although the end of the march he had some infection in the foot. And so he had later on I'll tell you what happened. So, but he still will walking. But I want to tell you an interesting story. And this is uh, something amazing. Uh, two stories, during this march. We arrived to one city, it called Kutno. That's in Poland. I don't know, a, a relatively big river, large river. So...

You don't know the river.

Uh, I don't know the name of the river. And we're crossing the river and people, some of the people saw water and we didn't--only water was missing. You know, I--we--food is fine. They gave us some food, some bread what, during the--but no, no, no drinking. And people m...rushed in, into the water to, to drink that dirty uh, warm water. And those who went in they shot them. A lot of shots. Because they, they were afraid that they want to...

Escape, yeah.

Escape. But they put some guards on the other side after that. Then they allowed us to go into the water to drink, which we did. They want uh, typhoid or not, or the typhus, whatever. But we drink.

So you watched these people being shot in the river.

Yes, yes, yes. One of the uh, one of the, one of the uh, not friend, he was from the gymnasium, a, a young boy was shot. Because, he, he's run and they shot him. But then, then everybody was afraid. We were waiting until they...


...they got the guard. Now the other interesting, most interesting thing during this approximately five, six day march was this. We arrived in one field, very interesting. And, big field so it was relatively cool at that time, there was not sun. And we were tired. And we layed down.

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