Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Kahan - April 29, 1982

Conditions on the Train

What kind of things happened on the train?

Oh, I'm trying. It was so long ago. Babies crying. I don't recall anybody dying, but terribly congested, hungry, suffering, arguments amongst people. My father and a few others wanted to pray, they put on a tallit and tefillin and, and, and under the circumstances it was very difficult. Uh, I was young and strong and I suppose I sat in a little corner and, and I, I, I take it much better than some of the older people. But uh, it was horrible. This has never happened to us before. That, that was about the worst thing that has happened to me in my life or to everybody who was on the train. We realized that something terrible is happening. We didn't know where they were taking us. But it was terribly congested. Uh, people had to uh, do the bathroom and things like that in front of other people that they have never done in their lives before. Like uh, the, the religious people were davening and, and people were getting on their nerves, each other's nerves. Uh, these are, are about the details that I remember.

Did anybody empty the pail ever?

Yes, when we stopped at the stations the pail was emptied. Yeah, we stopped every now and then. The trains uh, were stopped to get water and the locomotive and coal and then the pails were emptied and in the, in the evening we got water I think once or twice at those stops, as far as I can remember.

Now how long were you on the train?

I believe it was about a week.

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