Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984


E: But in Nitra, when we got back to the biggest surprise that we had at that point in our life uh, we stayed home for a few more days. And during the day, every once in a while, they came to us for people to work and as a reward we would get some extra, extra, extra food. So one morning, I volunteered and as a matter of fact, I wound up bathing the dog of the jail master. And a...when I came back in the afternoon, the jail was empty. Everybody was taken to the gathering point, which was Sered, not too far away from that area. Obviously, I cried bitterly. I was the only one left and the guard consoled me. He said, "Don't worry, you won't be here too long, they will take you too." Of course, he didn't know that at that point, not knowing anything else except being heartbroken for my family, I wished they would take me right there and then so that I could join my family. That happened several days later, actually about a couple of weeks later. And in the process, since I was the only at that point left in jail they made me work in the kitchen where I happened to be befriended by the chef. And he took me under his wings and made sure that I am not overworked. It just so happens that shortly after I started working for him, it was Yom Kippur, and while he was trying to give me food, I refused. So when he asked why I explained to him that it's Yom Kippur, I explained to him, it's a holiday, we don't eat. So he immediately said if you don't eat you can't work. You gotta stop, you come when you may eat. He says, "Come and I'll give you dinner." And I went into jail. I went to sleep. I was awakened and beaten up and told to go back to the kitchen to work. So then he just told me to sit down on the side and he protected me for the rest of the day. But anyway, shortly after I was...they gathered some more people. There was a transport going to Sered, where I arrived only to be told that my family was taken a couple days earlier to go to Poland.

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