Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - September 14, 1995


Who were the guards?

The guards were, again, it was a mixture from all around the countries, now it may have been some Wehrmacht. Primarily, they were the Wehrmacht. I don't know if there were SS guards, too. Maybe the Commandant was an SS guard, but there were Ukrainians. There were, uh, Lithuanians, and incidentally, some of the Ukrainians were worst, as bad, if not worse than the Germans, you know. Maybe they wanted to outdo the Germans. It was, uh, quite, quite sad the way some of those people who have struggled through, and the last moment, they had to die, but, uh, it, uh, they were with us until probably the sixth or seventh of May. I, I would say, I would say, fifth or sixth, and all of a sudden, one morning, you know, we got up, and we don't see anybody. The guards were gone, you know, so we didn't know what, what was going on. We just felt there was news that never came over, so, um, we waited for a few hours. Nobody came back, so we started to walk in towards the town. The town was deserted, you know. We didn't see anybody, so the two of us, my uncle and myself, went into a house. We didn't find anybody in the house. So then in the kitchen, we found a little bit of food, so we took some food with us, and we went up to the attic of the house, and the attic had hay, you know, what they were feeding the cattle with. We buried ourselves in the hay up to our neck, and that gave us a little bit of life again, because it was warm, and, uh, we didn't get out from that till, a couple of days.

From that house you mean?

Yeah. From, not from the house, but from the attic. Now we were there, and we had a little bit of food, so we could eat somewhat, and we stayed there. We heard shootings. We heard language speaking. The second day, we still heard uh, um, the first and second day, we still heard some German discussions, German, and we heard the shootings. We looked outside through the cracks. There were some cracks that you could see outside, you know, and we could vividly see some German soldiers yet, and it had to be a house to house fight, so we waited one more day, and we didn't want to leave that place. Then, it quieted down. We didn't hear any shootings, and still we weren't sure whether we should leave or not, so we stayed one more day. One more night rather, and during the day, opened up the little attic door and just listened, and we heard some foreign language. We didn't know exactly what it was, but somehow, we picked up that it could be English, because we knew French, I could identify, and, uh, German I could identify, so we felt that it was English. Then we came down, and sure enough, in the town, it was quiet. There were no more shootings, and we stayed in the house, downstairs for about four or five days. Then the owners came back. The people who owned the house, and we didn't want to leave. We told them, "You go out. We are not leaving." So they brought the MP's, and the MP's put us out, you know, because they said, "You can't stay in their house." And, and then we had to go to a designated camp area what they said that we should go to.

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