Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

March to Bergen-Belsen

What happened?

We could seat five, five. Some of them were sitting on the floor too. And so we changed around. And then where they used put the packages on top on the train, we went to sleep. So every time uh, somebody went to lay down there to sleep. And uh, uh, you slept and they woke you up and the next one went. And so we shared. But that train uh, when it was bombed, we didn't get to eat. Nothing. So uh, they let us go to the fields. But uh, the fields was frozen. And we had spoons, so we was digging and we found some uh, frozen potatoes. Uh, they maked the fire there and they reds--some ???. Taste very good. When you're hungry, everything tastes...

Is this--this was between Mauthausen and Bergen-Belsen?

Uh, yeah.

In the fields between...

Yeah, yeah. We was, I don't know how many days--the girls uh, when I talk to them now--a few girls still living, in New York--they say ten days. But I don't know how many days we was. But we had nothing what to eat, just what we found in the fields, which wasn't too much. And uh, no water, you know. So uh, and they let us go there to the civilians to look in the garbages. But we--the garbages was nothing what to find to eat, you know. We turned over the garbage and--but the civilians never brought us out to say, "Now here, have something." Never did. We was asking them but they didn't bother. It was a small town some place in Germany. Where, we was going "Gnädige Frau. Geben zu mir wasser." So another one says, "Diese Häftlinge," they say, "Gar nichts," this is German prisoners. Don't give 'em nothing."

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