Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982

Experiences during Holocaust

So basically you didn't believe that the transports were taking--did you have any knowledge where the people were going?

No, we didn't.

Did people come in and tell you and people didn't believe it?

'Til, 'til the last minute, no. The last two days before I left to Auschwitz we--I--myself--mine uncle was working by the transportation and he find in the train was a little paper marked in, in Pol...in Jewish and Polish that the people not to go to the transport because they don't know what's going on. They know--there was something marked on a piece of paper that they're killing the people. But nobody believed in it. That was the last, the last two days. I remember my uncle came and he said, "You never know where they sending the people.' We didn't know that that is Auschwitz or that is Buchenwald. We didn't know that. The main thing what I went through in life and I lost my parents and I lost my brother, then I was fighting to--for survival in Auschwitz. Then I start to--when I was a little older I start to fight for survival. I believe maybe I going to find somebody and I fight. When I was in Auschwitz I went to Buchen...eh, to Glei...Gleiwitz I. I worked over there for six--for three, four months. Then they said we have to go out from this because the Russian was coming in. It was almost--the, the, the war was almost the end, and I was walking for three months. And I walked to Bu...uh, to Buchenwald from Auschwitz to Gleiwitz, from Gleiwitz to Buchenwald. And I walked to Buchenwald, I was working over there a couple weeks over there I was working. When I came to Buchenwald there was a airplane--American airplane came. And they start to shoot on us because they didn't know that we are the--we are Jews and we are there so. And they start to bomb and my friend was killed. Right, right by me he was killed on that. And I was walking. I always try to run away. And one day the--I was in the transportation and I was sleeping in a farm, about a couple thousand people. And, and everybody was hiding in the, in the straw, it was a farm. The German came in and they said, all the people was hiding, go out, we give you a last chance. And a lot of people didn't want to go out. The last minute they came in with dogs and everything. They took out all the, all the kid, the people, a lot of my friends. And when they find them they put them into the, and they shoot them and kill them. All the kids, my friends--how I lost my friends. And I still was not afraid. Anytime when I went--I was walking, I tried to run away.

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