Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Death March II

Uh, so they were changing shifts, you know, some walked a little bit and then they were driving. But every time--as we were losing the girls--they didn't take no chance. If they see somebody was falling behind, they could stop in the middle and I remember just like now--our clothes were worn out and, and uh, lousy. We didn't wash. So I remember middle of the road a few girls couldn't go, they said to stop. And they took them in front of us and they were shooting. They tried to shoot. There was one girl in Sosnowiec--I can't remember her name. We tried to remember her name yesterday but Frieda and I can't. She had a sister there and, and, and the sister couldn't walk, so they put her in front of us with four other girls--they wanted to shoot her. So she, she said to her sister, "Miriam, take my coat." She--after she dies, everybody's going, going, going to grab her clothes off. Because every, you know, we had the feet wrapped around. You know, we were naked, we were freezing. She said, "Miriam, toss this--take my, take my coat." She took her coat like nothing every happened. You know, we all watched. And they were shooting in front--four girls in front of us. And that's what she did, she left her coat for her sister. And then we go on. After, in that--and when we got to our destination, after this Christianstadt, they packed us into barns. There was one time they packed us so thick--you know what barn, barns are--some are--barns not of ca...of cows or this, but were just straw and hay they had there. It was so thick and we were--it was so crowded that me and my sister no matter what happened we held our hands. But we couldn't be together and there was no room to sit down--was no room. So we were standing and sleeping. And while we were holding hands, there were other girls between us, but we wouldn't let go. All during the night she called me, "Paula, this is Manya," just to see if we're breathing. When they opened the doors in the morning, the ones--the girls are standing--they were dead, but they were standing. They opened the, the doors to let us out--they're dying. And here they go, count again. So every time were less and less and less. Those girls they didn't shoot no more. But the ones, you know, earlier, earlier, you know, the ones they were frozen, they, they couldn't uh, keep up with the--and, you know, couldn't keep up with the walk--with the speed, those were sh...they were shooting. Uh, one time, I said, "Manya, I can't make it, I can't make it." I, I just told her, "I'm falling behind, I'm falling behind." You know, it was nothing--dying was nothing there. But she kept in Polish saying ???, you know, that was in Polish, "Hold on, hold on, it can't last forever. You know, it's so close. Just hold on, let's see the end." So she and another girl were dragging me--shlepn, you know, like to be--not to, to fall behind. And then one time that must have been, yeah, i...in the morning--by that summer the farmers they gave us--they arrange stuff. They gave us some potatoes, everyone got potato. They had to wake us. They let us out five o'clock in the morning, four o'clock in the morning. We could have stayed a little bit more staying sleeping, staying, they got up--sadistic. Then it was--the snow had subsided already. They sat down on the, on the field during the walk and, and they had us stand. And they were eating sadistically.

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