Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Lang - February 23, 1982

Warning from a Gentile

Your father was a war hero you said.

Yes, like a war hero, yes. So the whole family, we moved out from the ghetto and one day I remember it was on a Tuesday at noon, I walked down the street--the main street it looked like a ghost town. And a man--a, a boy--a man came to me--he knew that I am Jewish--and he says to me, "What are you doing here on the street? You know you're not supposed to be here." And I said to him that, "I have documents that I could walk around like you." He says, "Why?" I--he--I--so I told him the reason. He says, "Well I just came from the German office and people like you they all going to--and, and pretty soon they going to be all uh, come and get you and take you away." He says, "You better go home right away and tell your parents and get away from that house. Go out from that house. Go any place because they going to come and get you." So I rushed home. We were having dinner and I said it to my family there--sitting and setting--that this and this happened to me, that this guy came to me and told me these things. As soon as I said it, the Germans--there were maybe six Germans with bayonets--that's how you call them bayonets? And they gave us five minutes we should get ready and they took us out with a truck to the station. And there were other people like we a--we were and they took us to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Were you in other camps during the war?

Only there--yes from Birkenau we were there for four weeks and then they took us to Stutt...Stutthof. We were in Stutthof for four weeks, and then they took us to Danzig--by Danzig. They had a new--they made a new concentration camp that was brand new when we walked in. We were five hundred girls. And then they added three hundred more. So we were there.

And then?

And we stayed there.

Until the end of the war.

Well, then we had to go--we were evacuating that place because the Russians were coming. It was around--in January.

And you went to where?

We were walking, we, we were walking all over. We, we didn't even know where we were because everybody was evacuating the, the people from the towns that, that we were walking--full of Germans. We were going--we didn't know even where we were going.

Into Germany though?

We didn't know where, where we were going, we--and then we, we escaped. Three of us escaped. I was always with my sister together, and then a friend of mine--three of us escaped.

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