Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Being Abandoned by the SS Guards

But we seen on the road it was very bad. They didn't take us already during the day. They took us in the afternoon into the night. And they took--it was already a handful, about five, six--and we must have been there about a hundred twenty girls and without my sister already. They took us--they drove us--and at midnight into a very, very deep, deep and thick forest. We didn't know. And then they said to stop. So one girl sat and we were shaking like a leaves. We knew something will happen to us. I thought they're going to shoot us all. We all thought this way. The area, you know, while we were walking there--up there it was real high, steep. So the--those rags were, were just uh, shedding--shredding. So when we got there, one girl said uh, to him, "You know, we had nothing to lose--that we are all afraid that we're going to die." He said, in German--I remember that slo...that, that German expression--??? And that means "If no one--if we all going to be quiet and say nothing, nothing's going to happen to us. But if one is going to say only one word, we're all going to be dead." Then--give me this--then uh, everybody wants to--we, we were laying one on top of the other. Everybody wants to be the first one on the ground. "You, you lay down me, you don't want to have the first bullet." We heard shooting three times. Everyone, and, and we didn't breath. You couldn't hear our, our breath. And everybody thought probably the next one is shot. But we wouldn't dare find out. In the morning--we slept all through the night--in the morning we start off, I don't know, five o'clock, six o'clock--barely light. One girl says, "You know what, the Germans are gone." The others said, "Be quiet, lay down." But the other one said--a few minutes later, it gets lighter--"I don't see no Germans." Said "Lay down, be quiet, you...you're afraid." Until it got to realize about seven o'clock, eight o'clock we see no, no Germans. So we sat, but let's be quiet, let's walk slowly and not together. But when we walked a few feet away we find their, their, their uniforms. They must have--those shooting, it was a signal. They probably threw their uniforms, got into civilian clothes and they let us alive.

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