Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

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Was your brother on this march with you?

Yeah, mhm.

How did he handle it? Did he survive that march?

He, he handled it better than I did. Uh, I uh, on the outskirt of the city, I told my brother, hell with it, I'm going to sit down here.

And then what happened? Did you sit down?


He pushed you to go along? And then what happened next?

Well, we came in uh, back, back in the same camp there was uh, the first thing we went to a, to a bath, which is a disinfection, which is uh, take the, kill the lice off. It was uh, the best feeling I ever had in my life really.

To get rid of the lice?

Rid of the lice.

And then after you took the bath and got rid of the lice, what, what happened then?

Then we start working again, but different, different work. Not, no, no factory anymore. Then we start digging ditches. This must have been in uh, March, April. March.

Near the same camp, you were in the same camp?

Same camp.


And no more factory work.


We, we start uh, digging ditches and uh, it was, it was good again. Uh, because first of all we got rid of the lice and secondly we start digging ditches and the ditches we would, we dug in the fields just planted with uh, potatoes uh, so we just dug up the potatoes and we ate it and so, it was a, a big relief and uh, we got back.

You ate the... You didn't cook the potatoes, I assume.

Both, both. We, we had uh, um, we had a Hungarian SS man, he was watching us dig the ditches and he was as hungry as I am. He had built a little fire--it was March--he built a little fire to keep warm. And we had to give him a potato to uh, otherwise he didn't let us put it on the fire. So, he was as hungry as I am.

Oh. Was the SS on the march? Were they the, the...

The, the uh, on the march was SS from Ukraine really, from Russia. From Russia SS somewhere.


But when we got back then they got Hungarian SS.

Was there a difference in the way they treated you?

Yeah sure there, sure difference. The uh, the uh, the uh, Russian, the Ukraine really, they were killers. They'd kick you. We had lots of trouble. Being cold, walking in the morning you had to pee and we didn't have enough clothes and, and we walk in the middle of the street in a big city and when people walk by they saw pee on the street, they howl like hell. I don't blame 'em at all.


But uh, not being dressed, what can you do? So you, you peed on somebody else's shoes, somebody else's uh, legs. Terrible.

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