Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Death of Mr. Ringler

The following is a continuation of an interview with Emerich Grinbaum at his home in Farmington Hills, Michigan on the morning of January 8, 2001. The interviewer is still Sidney Bolkosky.

Okay uh, let's--we're going to go back to talk a little bit about um, a little bit more, more about your experience in Warsaw uh, after the, the death of Mr. Ringler who had discovered some jewelry there. And then I'm going to ask you more about the Revier, the hospital that you said your father was sent to the...

Oh, that in Dachau.

That was already in Dachau, okay. Yeah, mm-hm. That was in Dachau. After, then, after we arrived, after you know, that was a long, uh.

Yeah right.

That was a long trip when we--we left Warsaw, as I said, beginning of August when the uprising started already.

Right. The Polish uprising.

The Polish uprising. And then the Russians were close and we know that they were there for several months, they didn't want to interfere. Uh, they want to let bleeding the uh, non-communist uh, uprising and, and they succeeded. But we left Warsaw first on--I think I already...

Yeah, yeah.

...talked about, on foot and then on train. So took us, I don't know how long. We arrived finally, uh...

In Dachau.

Dachau. And a great deal of people died during this trip. Were shot and died, starvation. So we arrived to Dachau.

Let me stop you, before we get back to Dachau, which is where we, we, we just began uh, you just began to talk about Allach when we finished last time. Um, you, you saw this man Ringler beaten to death.


You didn't see it.

No. Somebody told, told me. We were not together in--we were not in the same wa...wagon, in the same. But they told us, they told us. Because the Kapos knew that he--they--he found some jewelry and they suspected that he still had. I doubt if he, he, he had. At that time, we were concerned about to have some, some uh, water or food. He would have given uh, immediately if he had had. But they thought that he had, had something.

And the Kapos you said you thought were German criminals.

Most of them.

Most of them.

Most of them, most of them the green, green...

Green triangle.


Um, so this is now the second train trip, box car trip.

Yes. The first was from Munkacs to Auschwitz. No, the third one. First one from Munkacs to Auschwitz.

Then from Auschwitz...

Auschwitz to Warsaw.

...to Warsaw. And now back to Dachau.

Back. No, from Warsaw first we were walking on foot for five--six days. And then we arrived to somewhere in Poland. And they put on cattle car.

And at this point you were what, sixteen? How old were you now?

I was fourteen.



Uh, uh, okay '44, it's amazing that you survived this far at, this far at such a young age.

Matter of fact my brother was thirteen. We were together, as I said, with my father. At that time we were together. But as I say, explained, we were tall and originally and we were told that to, they, we told that I'm seventeen and he's sixteen. So that's why we survived.

Do you remember, you'd, you'd uh, witnessed at this point in just a few months an awful amount of, of what might have been traumatizing violence. You had seen people killed, you had seen people beaten.

Uh, I tell you, not until we were walking uh, uh, from Warsaw. No--we saw in Warsaw some, some violence, beating up people. But I did not see in Warsaw killing people at that time. First of all, we were working, we were working. And we were relatively still strong , I mean. And some people died, but not too many in, in, in Warsaw. Uh, during the uh, August uh, march on foot a lot of people died and then they left behind--they couldn't get in and the SS shot them. And the p...the most of the people who died, they died in the train after awhile because it was hot, no water, no nothing. And they died. I know that when we, when we arrived we were half, half, half dead also. And as I said, we arrived to Dachau and there was some miracles, a miracle happened.

You said some minor miracle, miracle...

You know, so we--they took us to a, to have a shower. They gave us clean uh, gar...garment. And even those who were very sick, they took to the Revier.

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