Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Allied Bombing

Your brother was with you.

Yeah, brother still with me.

Did he come to you in the hospital? When, when you were sick?

I was sick, e...even, he had to go to, going to work out with the other ones. I was in the...

But the two of you were in this building together?

Yeah, at the, at that time where the, where the bombs fell?



He came to you.

Yeah, because at nigh...even if they came and took him back from the work back to Dora, see in the, the buildings. So he stayed with me.

I see.

So, eh...

So the camp was destroyed?

It was still left, a few eh, a few, a few buildings and destroyed the lab and, and we, we just stayed, there's. I think that time was no feeding because everything was a chaos. The feeding, the one with the ration bread what we, we got. And next--ten o'clock in the morning again the bombs came and it was out--ten o'clock it looked like it was dark from the, they came so many planes, it was dark and we ra...dark, dark outside, I don't know, suddenly got dark. I don't know what, why it was so dark. And we ran, we went up. SS and the camp, concentration camps people, they just walked out from the camp because there were bombs coming down and down...that, building the barracks. And we were laying on, on the ro...on somewhere on a field. And next to me was an SS laying, sta...laying right next to me, from the guards. And I was healthy. I'm next--I'm even now with him, dead. And the bombs had coming down and he said and the one thing he said to me, he said, "Bye," that means we finished. The SS. The guardman next to me. He said bye because everything was falling, bombs from all over. And after the, the bombardment was quiet down, he looked around, a lot of people killed. Horses, soldiers. A lot of the killed SS. And we went--where we're going to go? He had on the uniform and no place to go. He got back into the camp. Got back to camp there was totally chaos after, was no building, there was no food, nothing. And they took still people of us, to take, took away from us. And I don't know. I think they took them to, to the woods to be killed. 'Cause we never seen them again. Some SS. And after awhile, it was getting--we heard the fighting going on at night, we hear that, you know, we hear that--those guns, ar...artillery guns hitting Nordhausen, getting close. Anyway, they left. Whatever the SS, they left and we were left uh, to, the ones that sick. Yeah, by the way, when there was the bombardment, I got a shrapnel into my side. And got close to my heart. So I was bleeding all over me. My brother was injured in the leg. He was hit right in the leg with one of the shrapnels. And he was not so bad and I was--I couldn't breathe because from the, from, from the shrapnel came in--went into my inside. And I went--was a lake next to the it, I went and I washed myself out. There was no SS. It was like chaos. There was no...nobody guards you anymore. And then after a day or two we were laying into a, like a opened, like a--it must have been like a stable.

Did anybody bandage you, did you, doctor, nothing?

Nothing. I just. The rea...I went, I saw la...a lake, so I went down and cleaned myself with the, that, the, the, that injured, eh place, to get the blood.

How did you stop the bleeding?

It stopped.

Just stopped.

Yeah, from cold water or something. It stopped. Nature I guess was healing.

But was the sh...shrapnel still in you?


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