Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984

Evacuation from Gleiwitz

Under what circumstances did you leave Gleiwitz? The Russians were coming.

B: Right.

E: Right. We described, I think, on this for you before, that they started...The, the front was advancing, so the Germans started to march, and they took us with them, and again, very few of us survived that march, because it was uh, walking many, many miles a day without any food or nourishment being as weak, physically, as most of us were.

It was your father, cousin and two of you.

E: Right. Then, then another cousin joined us. B: Well, he didn't join us, literally. My father literally saved him on his own back.

E: It's true. B: He, it so happens that when the evacuation of Gleiwitz started, when they lined us up for marching, another cousin of ours who we found there, in Gleiwitz, was in the clinic, and I guess my father knew that if we leave him behind in the clinic, he'll never make it anyplace, so my father went into the clinic, took him, and our cousin couldn't walk. He had something wrong with his foot. I don't recall exactly what, and my father really and literally carried him all, all through the march to save his life.

E: And then, he ended up walking with us home, which walk we described to you before.

Do you remember any other incidents on the death march either that your father may have helped you out or seeing people shot along the side?

E: Oh, people were shot every hour, every, all the time, and at night, we were again crowded into a room where was definitely no sleeping facilities or anything like this, and there were so many people pushed into a room that there was barely room to, to stand or lean against each other, and next day continue. But fortunately, the pressure which the Russians put on was so great that they, that the Germans fled at one given point which was in uh, in Blechhammer? B: Yeah.

E: They left us one morning. We found, we came out that they are, we didn't believe it, that the Germans are gone. B: Well, we knew it. The army, the bulk of the guards left. The only one that was left for another day or so, were the under fence, they had every 100 feet or so, there was, ah.

E: Lookouts. B: Lookouts. And those were the ones that were stay hanging on and in fact, they were shooting into the camp, but uh, during the night they disappeared too. So we were actually left alone.

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