Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Kendal - May 25, 1983

Life in Labor Camp

Now this labor camp was a camp where they were digging soft coal. It was like squares and we were out there digging and I remember that because they were very light-weight squares. And I was um, nine or ten years old, but I was out there working too because they were stacking and were drying and so on and so forth. I remember that. Uh, while we were there--I don't know how long we were there um, how many months--but while we were once came an order that everybody from the camp was to return back to the city--this town--to Berezne--to the ghetto. And they marched us back--now this was about--I don't know about thirty kilometers away--twenty-five, thirty kilometers. Um, now so they marched us back there and when we got there we only stayed there a few days and they marched us--turned around and marched us back to the camp. And again we were working. We were in the camp, but I don't know the length of time. I couldn't give you a period of time, like weeks or months or whatever. Again um, we heard rumors that they were killing people in the ghetto um, but those were rumors because, you know ???. And again, I just think that I heard, I mean you know, being ??? But, what happened was um, how we escaped from that camp--work camp was that this one woman--well, it was a number of women that were working in the uh, Gestapo quarters and um, whatever they were doing there--cooking. And uh, but anyway, they overheard uh, an order that came in uh, that all the people from that work camp would be returned back to the town or, or um, they would kill them. They had to return back to town. Uh, meanwhile, the rumors were very strong that they were killing the people in town and uh, I--we heard later that they said they took the man and they made him dig on the uh, concrete to help them to bury them and then they took all the people in there and they shot. Uh, when this woman heard this--I don't know whether it was one woman or a number of women--I--but I do know it was women. They somehow eh, left from the Gestapo--from the camp and they um, in their living quarters and they notified um, the people that were in the barracks.

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