Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - June 22, 1983

Transportation to Dachau

Did conditions begin to deteriorate at that camp?

Yes, definitely so. You know, that was uh, that was already day by day deteriorating. And in March or in early part of April, as the Allies were closing in, they evacuated that camp. Part of them went by foot.

Excuse me, about how many people were in that camp at that particular time?

They were thousands, you know, they were in, they were thousands. It was a large camp. And they started to evacuate them. We didn't know where we are going. They put us on a train; it was open car. It was like a railroad car, but open. That's where I got separated from my uncle, because he was, he was taken with a group that went on foot. And we were four days on the road and in four days we have covered eighty miles. As, as the Allies were closing in they were cutting off certain railroad uh, passings. So they couldn't go one way, they went the other way. We were just zigzagging, but we did not know 'cause we were going day and night--'cause we were not familiar with the little towns, we had seen--I remember we stopped at one time at the railroad station of Ulm and that was the second or third day. We saw another whole train with the Hungarian markings on it. We tried to holler over to them and one of them wanted--as we were hollering over to them, "Please give us some food." But we did not get anything to through the four days. We didn't have whatsoever. No--one of them brought over half a loaf of bread. And uh, he was able to sur...

Were people dying on the transport?

Yes. By the time we arrived--the end of the transport was in Dachau. By the time we arrived at Dachau there were already people dead. Now, it was so cold in the German mountains in the month of March and April. You were freezing to death. During that transport whether it was from malnutrition or from freezing, the people were just falling, falling to pieces. Um, I know that for about a day and a half--two days, and I said this many times: I covered myself with a dead body and my pillow was a dead body. I was, I was laying there. There were--there was a father with four sons on that train. Their name was Jakab--I remember their name. J-A-K-A-B, hmm? And the father and three sons died on that truck. Now, this took four solid days and nights, you know, to cover that eighty miles. And there were many, many--a lot of people lost. When we arrived in Dachau, we got off the train, and they gave us a hot bath. Now, we went in--we didn't know where we were going, they put us in. And uh, during that time from weakness people in the bath were just falling to pieces, you know, right around you. And I must, must tell you that you became so immune to these things that you saw half a dozen bodies it didn't mean anything. ??? because you were already bone and--at that point we were bone and skin.

What was happening to the bodies?

To the bodies? They were taken into mass graves.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn