Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

March to Gleiwitz

...they marched you to Gleiwitz.

Yeah, all night we marched--was marching into Gleiwitz. And I--we walked and walked, walked, it, it was snow, cold. And came into Gleiwitz, in the morning my eyes opened up. It was already daylight from--they walked all night long. My eyes opened up and I could see again. And then when I could see I saw again what happened. Gleiwitz was like a place, a gathering together, all from other camps around into Gleiwitz. To waiting for--to, probably they waited for trains to load us away from the, Poland. So went to--at the barrack, there was barrack a lot of people. And I, and I opened the, by the door you're walking in and I saw something happened terrible. When you, was so many in that barrack, when you get in they would go on top of you. There was no way to--there was no room to stay there. So I got out fast with my brother. I said if you go in through that trap, on the top of you because there's so many pe...you know, like people inside the barrack. So we stayed, went to the toilet, stayed in the toil....It was just a little bit away from the cold weather outside. And I was there, I, I, I think we stayed a few--and they get it all, they came so many, all the camps around whatever it was they put them into Gleiwitz. In middle of the night they had the trains ready, to have, have wagon trains. And they came in, it was the SS ca...came in the barracks and scream, "Raus, raus, raus, raus!" Just in the daylight and, and my brother was hit be...one of the guns in the back, he was bleeding. He got hit. And they put us in the open train, opening. But it's, they filled us up like herring in that because they, when there's more people to get into the trains. And we--as the train started going out from Gleiwitz, they took out the--this was the, two--two and a half weeks on the train, without food, to explain...

Towards Germany...

...without drinks. The only thing what we ate is snow that came down on us. And that train they put us so many people in that any, any person was in the middle was just--was finished. On top of the other. And all the time on the train I stayed at the edge of the train, holding on, on the edge. And that was at night and day like this. After traveling for a few place...a few hours, they suddenly stop because SS prob...it was on top SS, gua...with machine guns. And they stopped probably they had to go down and change guards, I don't know. And then suddenly on the sta...one of the station they opened up the, opened up the train and they throw bread from the top down on the ground. You can imagine what happened, what I saw. I was in the back, when I told you the back holding on. The front, behind me they were out, going out grabbing the bread. As soon they grabbed the bread, it went a lot of out, grabbing the bread, the ma...eh, hits from the guns of the SS, killed them right on the spot. There was a play for them, to, they knew we were hungry, we didn't, we weren't fed for, for a few days. They thought the people are not, you know you're hungry, you run out to get a piece of bread. And the machi...you hear "drrr", machine gun, all of them finished. So we knew what they're playing around. And they don't want to feed you, they want to starve you to death. Finally this, this trip went through--in Gleiwitz it took us, like going to, in, Gleiwitz is not far if you go up north, northwest and you in Germany, through train. But probably it was bombarded aboard, they took us to Czechoslovakia, from Czechoslovakia to Germany ???. One time in the morning when the train going by and I saw a big bridge on top, people going to work. Eh, the people they ??? people in Czechoslovakia at that time. And they probably had lunches with them, going to work in the morning, they throw their apples and chocolate and bread on top of us. And they were throwing us to get--they knew exactly what inside is, what the people that--us--from the camps transporting. So they throw the, whatever they took for them, with themselves the lunches for them, they throw it into us to feed us, to give us the food. And as soon they throw that food and the ne...and the Germans saw that they were hitting, shoot...uh, kill...uh, shooting, hitting them to the bridge, they shouldn't do that. And then it came on the top of us, a piece of bread, apple or a chocolate. That were the chocolate people.

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