Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


It was inside.

Mm-hm. And, and my brother got, got so, he hit--he was hit at leg. Okay, so we knew that it's gonna, it's, it's. There no, nobody guarding you. But he was laying a few nights, we were sick, injured. We were laying in a--like a stable. And all injured people were laying there in that stable on the, on that hay or was that? Eh, and you could bare...I never forget that, the day, you know the noise when people die? They couldn't breathe. Like I was, like eh, like from injury, I couldn't breathe. I was--unbelievable. I just felt that this is finished. I--this thing, pains. And some of them came, Germans and they saw the one which we, which burned dead, they took him out to kill in the stable. And next morning I felt better. I don't know, the injury must have quieted down and I felt better. And I walked, walked out of that and I got--I was--got on a bunk, it was covered with crud. It was a bunk, it was wine and the, was, they had champagne, so the SS. I suddenly got--and I brought back for my brother a bottle of champagne. And then next day we, we got better and my and we went to a, away from the S...I said it's not--it would be not good to lay around because they're going to kill us up and we're gonna die. We went in, we went to that other old civilian house, a German house. First thing what I did, I found a place with uniforms with--I have a picture of it. Uniforms from ver...fliers, pilots, the insignia for pilots. So I throw my uniform away, but by the, in the and I dressed myself in civi...in that, that, in that, I stripped, stripped off the, from the uniform, from the Nazi fliers--pilots you know. So I, I wouldn't be like, like the one going, walking around. And I walked around outside and I saw tanks, American tanks coming up. I knew what Americans were 'cause I know, they were surrounding, it was getting so close. So I saw the American tanks there and went back to my brother. He was laying in that room, I say, "We are liberated. We're free." But I know he wouldn't be able to walk. Finally we saw Americans coming up. And uh, American uh, it was chaos all over. And we organized f...I organized food because my, body couldn't move and I organized, went out and got some food, food from places. And then eh, eh, next day, civili...the way--beside us, work in the camp they had civilians from France, from Poland from all over, working the fields. He was a doctor. And I said, "Do you know, my brother's laying there and, and he was, he's going, he's going to die. You have to help him." So the civilian, that French doctor he said, you know, first to me, "We gotta go organize for food." Getting food to feed us, you know. I went with him and very close was a--like a village. I went in, it was goose sitting on eggs. Unbelievable. So you see something you take the goose out. And we had, I don't know eh, put it underneath my blouse, what I'm wearing. Underneath to hold on to it.

The goose or the egg?

No, the eggs.

The eggs.

The goose is too big to--I wouldn't take the goose. So the eggs, we said we're going to have eggs at least. And then came out uh, German civilian from the farm. There was no Ameri...it was a chaos, no American, no Amer...we could have been killed because, what are you doing here? We said we got lost. So, he let us go. And I had eggs with me. He didn't notice that I was having--we got, eh. It was lucky, he could have killed, nobody would know. You know, you were on his farm.

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