Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Kendal - May 25, 1983

Running Away from the Germans

Um, the word spread out very quickly all over camp and mo...I would say most of the people just took off into the forest because, because we were right on the edge of a big forest area and fields of corn. And of course when we ran away we heard--people were running in all directions. Um, there were machine guns firing and firing and screaming and hollering and so on and so forth. Uh, these were not--there were no fences around that area. I mean, we were not fenced in because it was... I don't think it was uh, I didn't think they expected anything like that. So, when we went away my grandfather and my uncles that they were merchants and dealing with all the farmers and everything and they knew the back roads. They knew the forest area. They knew one of my uncles used to work, from what I understand it, he used to work at something to do with the forest area so they knew where to go and, and we followed them, you know, everybody from our family more or less. We went into the area and, of course um, my grandfather um, you know, of course knew a lot of the farmers, and they knew which ones were the good ones and which ones weren't. But, at first we ran deep into the forest area. And, I think that most people that followed my grandfather and uncle and my dad um, most of them did survive because they knew where they were going. Um, a lot of the people that were city people didn't know where to go. Not right away. A lot of them ran away, but they had search parties for weeks on end afterwards and these people really were just running around. Again, these are stories that I heard repeatedly that they were running around in circles and um, they really didn't know where they were going and they got caught. Um, I also heard stories--we heard of mothers throwing their children away because the kids were crying and then they were afraid that it would give them away. And um, people would leave those who couldn't keep up. They would just leave them behind. They left them there.

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