Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984


Were these SS men, or were they Wehrmacht?

E: This was mostly SS. B: I don't know, SS, yeah, young soldiers.

E: And I think to describe to you what happened after when everybody started to run toward the warehouses and tried to, to, to get the food which they didn't see. B: Chaos broke out, of course, first. I can't even say that it was jubilation we were being freed, because I don't think we could...

E: Comprehend it even. B: That what is happening. All we knew is that the Germans left and uh, we broke into the warehouse and uh, I don't know if you mentioned the incident where you almost got killed uh, trying...he was one of the...heroes.

E: Heroes, running into the warehouse trying to bring out some food and everybody started grabbing from him and he wound up on the bottom of a big piling. He could have been...he could have suffocated from the mass of people lying on top of him, trying to grab the food that he grabbed. I ended up with empty pockets and empty hands because people were so hungry for the food. And as I mentioned before, what, what they did with people is completely dehumanizing them, dehumanizing them by all this. B: Well, to weakness also. People had no energy to do anything. The sanitary conditions broke down completely. And that's what make us decide to...

E: To leave immediately. B: About two or three days later after the...we felt that the Germans are totally gone. That we are going to leave. We, I think my father was instrumental in organizing about ten or eleven of us into a small group and say, "Let's go." We had no idea, no maps, no compass. We had no idea where we are. But for some reason we just, I don't know how, we figured out the direction that we should going.

E: And we did. B: Actually, we mentioned to you, Bernie mentioned to you, the, or, or the encounter with first Russians. But eventually uh, in Poland we run into or came across a Czechoslovakian army.

E: That was close to the Czechoslovakian border.

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