Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Gringlas - January 14 & 22, March 18, 1993


No, when you were now at Birkenau...


You had just been sick not too long before.

No, in Blizyn, that was a long time ago.

That was be...long before.

I was out of the typhus already.

So you passed.

I passed, yeah. I passed, they, cause they checked us over again, we can work.


So uh, after being there in Birkenau and I don't--I, let's see I remember Birkenau was, I can't, I don't understand 'til now what happened. A lot of Jewish people were gathered and was praying. They were praying out--they were, you know outside of Birkenau tremendous bar...barrack, you know and they were praying. I said what the heck they're praying now that we're dying. But they're praying, that God is going to help us? I know that books, I don't know how they got in, I don't know--can you imagine?

In the barracks? Was this in...


...in the barracks?

It was a big barracks, but between the barracks outside, you could go--you went out of the barracks.

They were praying outside.

Yeah. And you were surrounded, you couldn't go in place because you were surrounded in electrical wiring and guards, SS guards. And another--and they didn't take you to work, you just walk, stand around all day long. And at--after awhile I was taken to a fort, in next to our--every barracks in, in area was with wires. And next--we could see through wires the other camp, another camp, but is same area but, but separated with wiring. It was a woman camp. And I was picked up in a group in Birkenau to go--it was a ditch between going down the bottom on the, on, outside the barracks they cleaned us. So we saw how the women without no hair and uniforms. And we were, we could see the women there, they was separated from the men. So I worked there. And all--and then and I told you a lot of people were sent out. It was not, Birkenau was not a camp, a working camp, it was liquidation camp. There's, there's no work there. So they--it was no good. Because if you don't work, you're gonna go to camp, to concen...to the liquidation of uh, the gas chamber, today you're going to go next day, you know. That was the problem. You felt terrible. At least you work you know they're going to keep you for awhile.

Let me stop. When you, when you looked at the women in the next camp...


...did you think you might see one, someone from your family?

No, because I don't know, I, I had a feeling that they were sent right away to M...Majdanek. They wouldn't--they didn't go to Auschwitz. They went to Majdanek. And we knew Majdanek was not a camp uh, working camp either. Those were killing, gas. Q:???

Yeah. And so, eh. What's talking about?

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