Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - June 22, 1983

Being Taken to Kochendorf

You say you were there until the beginning of September?

Beginning of September. That when the invasion has took place and we already heard canons. We heard the war and we were hoping that at that point we may be freed.

Excuse me a minute. Let me ask you if by that--this point you knew where in France you were?

Uh, just uh, approximately. We didn't exactly know it. Still don't--did not know it. We knew we were close to the Luxembourg border, but we didn't know the exact location.

Did you continue you work even though you heard uh, the war in the background?

Oh, yes. Yeah. We did. And uh, at one given day we were given the order to pack, that we are going to evacuate the camp. We were taken to the railway station--all 500 or 499 I believe at that time. Were put into, into railway cars and we were going back towards Germany--that we know, that we are going that way. We stopped with the train, maybe it was in uh, Karlsruhe what is right on the border between Germany and France. Was an air raid attack and, and everybody had to go out of the trains and just underneath along the railroad tracks. We had to take shelter. When the air raid attack was over, we were all put back and, and we kept on. So...

Who was guarding you at the time? Um, you said they opened the doors and let you come out. Who were the guards at that point?

The guards--we had to ride on along the railroad tracks--on the banks of the railroad tracks. And they went a little bit further, maybe 100 feet away, but of course, watching us. But they took a little shelter away a little bit further that they should bomb the railway cars but they would, they would not be hurt, that their chances would be greater of escaping.

Was this SS?

Um, I think so that they were already SS. No, when we were going from point to point it was SS, yeah. Um, we arrived in a little town of--city or town--called Kochendorf. It was in the vicinity of uh, Stuttgart. [pause]

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