Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


Podgorze right?

Beg your pardon?

Podgorze? Isn't that where the ghetto was?

No, those, I'm talking about Krak...going to Synagogue.

The neighborhood in Krakow was I think the Podgorze neighborhood, that's where the ghetto was.

Anyway, so we took a cab so we go faster. It was evening. We came in, almost fi...finished the service in Krakow. They--I asked them, "What, what are you so rushing with the service which just finished?" Because they don't want to walk at night home because they're afraid they're going to get hurt. That's the life. Even, those are the few Jews left in Poland which are mostly sick people, old people. And they're even afraid to go out on the street at night. So in Krakow it would be, I think it was next, next morning we went to Auschwitz. Birkenau. Eh, arriving in Auschwitz. I, before I never seen the building. It was right in the, not far, it was three kilometer from Birkenau. That was the, going on the lag...administration from the SS and killings and, and the, and making all the plans. And there was and, and there was uh, in Auschwitz we saw the special room. I think it was number 17. And in front was a stone that the President from Israel came down, brought that stone from Israel for the people, the Jewish people that suffering in that place. And then we went--after now being Auschwitz a few, few hours there. Should have told you, and we saw a lot of cruel things what happened, went on in Auschwitz. They having those, all those people came. Different cases with name eh, from other cities. They told they're going to go back home, so know which belongs to which home. Hair and a lot of glasses and shaving things like that. It was very gruesome. It was terrible. Hanging cloth from the uniforms. And I said, "Marcy, see those clothes? If somebody got clothes like this that mean he was, he wasn't selected to die right away in the gas chamber. They were still working there, in Auschwitz." And my daughter--I, I mean, you could see that the very, very, the feeling of them, my kids was terrible, it's just. And then we went, we left Auschwitz--we went, we drove over to Birkenau, which is not far. You know, came to Birkenau, I said that's it. That's where I was there. Saw that building with a big opening, where the trains went through. And then we went all the, looked to see the barracks everything, the way it was. But the, the place where was the crematorium, was the Germans demolished it before they left. And I went around the back and I saw eh, something, a sign, there was uh, one of the leaders from the Nazis. The Polish pe...government found him after the war. They brought him back there, they hanged him there. Big leader from the SS. It was unbelievable to--things happen. After so many few years, it wasn't, happened right after the war, but they brought him back and they--that was executed him.

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