Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - June 22, 1983

Being Taken from the Ghetto

At the end of that eight week period, what happened to your family?

Uh, we were uh, we were all together up to that point, other than my father who was in Russia. And on the day of Shavuot--second day of Shavuot, the first transport was shipped out from the ghetto. They started to evacuate. And we left two days after Shavuot. We were all gathered together and uh, were taken to the station--to the railway, railway station and were put into the railroad cars--really, the transport cars as we call it--the cattle cars.

Did you have any idea where you were going at that point?


Had you heard anything from your father's parents up to then?

Um, they were also in the ghetto.

Then it was your...

My--just my grandmother, because my grandfather passed away in 1942. We were approximately--from my mother's side and from my father's side relatives--close relatives with this one I mean cousins--second cousins go that far--I would say about between thirty through thirty-five people.

And as a group, up to that point, you remained together and then you boarded the transport? Can you describe the conditions of the transport for me?

Well, that was quite horrible. We were in a small cattle car--railroad car. Put in--I don't know exactly the numbers, but it had to be anywhere from 100 to 150 people. 'Cause we were just--if you wanted to lay down, you really couldn't. The only way you could sleep or close your eyes a little bit--sitting down. And uh, it lasted two days. We left on a Monday afternoon or--if I'm correct, and we arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Um, I may mix up my days, but it, it did last two days.

Did you receive any food during that period of time?

Um, very little if any. We were not able to go out. The doors were never opened up.

And what, what kind of sanitary facilities were provided?

Just wherever you could. There were some pails, and that was it.

Any people die during that trip?

Um, not that I remember at that point--at least not in my wagon.

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