Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Transfer to Buchenwald

So how long were you in the camps?

From 1942 to '45. Then we transferred from Buchenwald, from uh, from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, because the Russians were behind us. So it was January, January 18, I believe was it--yes it was January 18, five o'clock in the afternoon. We start marching from one camp. The Russians were behind us maybe a mile or two miles, you know, away. And they burned--all day long they were burning the uh, papers, documents. So--and, I don't know, God got mad at us. And the heaviest blizzard of the year came down that night. We marched from five o'clock in the afternoon to about ten o'clock next night. We finally came into a camp Gleiwitz. It was Gleiwitz One and Gleiwitz Two. We came into Gleiwitz. Hunger. We fell down dead. Tired. As a matter of fact that, whenever I think about it, I said, "How dumb can a human being be?" The snow about three feet deep. You lay down under the snow but you cover yourself up so you shouldn't freeze, but you lay on the snow. So we were there overnight and they gave each a half a loaf of bread or a piece of salami or whatever it was--meat--I believe, a piece of salami and shipped us on the train from Gleiwitz to Buchenwald. Ten days on a open boxcar. Snow, snow over your head and no place where to sit down because you were packed.

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