Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Konstam - October 25, 1991

Death March

Let me stop you for a second. Where did they put it, when they took your clothes, where did they put them?

They had ovens.

Ovens. Not gas chambers.

No, no. There was ovens. Tremendous heat, you know.


They, everybody had to be na... take off your uh, your all your clothes, naked in a bundle, your number be on the surface, you know. And uh, and then you, you take, you go on and you take your bath, you wash up. And then when, by the time you come out uh, your clothes are ready, you know. And uh, all clean. And after this, uh, we just uh, have uh, same thing with your bedding. Everything clean. I think when we came to this camp, it was a small camp over there in Spaichingen and uh, the first night over there the lice--you probably never saw louse, I suppose--the lice were so big, when they bit you, they bit your skin off. They actually bit out your skin. And same thing as for the bed bugs. All night long, they uh, they didn't have any Entlastung, they didn't have any in hygiene or anything to keep it clean or ... And uh, they actually... Your skin looked like uh...

[interruption in interview]

In, in that camp, the uh, uh, it was a smaller camp but they had no facilities. And the, and the, I don't know where they got all the bed bugs and the lice uh, where we got in there, and they just ate you up alive. You couldn't, you couldn't sleep at night and they uh... You just, just get rid of those uh, of those insects, of the lice and the bedbugs uh, was in itself just... You had to defend yourself uh, from it. And uh, we were in this camp a few, several months. And after that uh, after that they took us again on, to march. And this was called the Death March, you know. We went from there to uh, supposed to go to Dachau. And as I say, the uh... I knew that my strength left me. I just couldn't, I just couldn't live. I, I went up, in fact, I went up to a soldier and I said to him uh, shoot me. I said, I... I knew, I could feel that uh, your life leaves you, you know. And uh, and then we, after we rested up, it was two in the evening and they said again, it was the command, "Auf gehen und Weiter Marschieren" that means, you should all get up of the ground...

March again.

and march on.

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