Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Leaving Sister on Death March

And there we were about a week. And after this they drove us further. And then the next stop was a Bahn. Instead of a Bahn, it was that bombed uh, lumber yard. And my sister says, "You know what, Paula, come here." In Polish, it's a beautiful expression--she said it in Polish, "My legs don't want to serve me no longer.: And she was one--the brave girl. I, I was the one that couldn't do it. And she said, "Sitting it's fine, but walking I can't do any longer." In the morning when they counted us she couldn't do it. She couldn't--I don't know, I didn't want to leave her, I wanted to stay with her. Oh this must have been at the very end, yeah, by the end of April or beginning of May already. So I said, when they counted again, it was already half of the guards already, about three-fourths no women anymore. And I said "Manya, if you're not going, I'm not going," but they came to, tore me away. They tried to push--to take her away too, but she couldn't walk. And there were a few like this, about thirty. They--and, and then when we first time parted, but--and the next, they, they took us away. We were already a handful of girls, some were--but then that we seen already people--Germans on the road running away from the cities. We knew it's, it's coming very, very close to an end because we seen already Germans like with wagons, with cars, with their belonging, schlepping on the roads. I knew that uh, uh, either the Russians or the, the Americans or the English are, are getting here. Oy, we went one time, a, a, a city in Cze...in Czechoslovakia--in Saxon--yeah, I don't remember--through the city, they didn't take us--one time it was through the city and people--civilian people seen shadows walking. They threw--they coming from shopping, from grocery--they threw us bread, they threw--they were shooting in the air to the people uh, to stay away from us. And then the last stop, after when I first parted with her, they took us to a place where it was a cleaner barn. We had room to sit. We, we, we were there a whole day, not just a night, a whole day. And uh, with a stepladder was uh, straw and hay. So I tried to bury myself there if they will take the girls away uh, I should go back. I see I'm probably not too far away from my sister. To go back or maybe she tries to come front against me too. So before they ask all the gir...the girls to go out, they were going poking in the straw and they got me. Didn't do anything, they just poked me. And I had to get out and continue marching.

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