Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Lang - February 23, 1982

Arriving at Praust

Were there bar...was there barbed wire.

Barbed wire, of course. And we started out there, but then the Germans came and they stayed with us. So, some of the women they were in the kitchen. And now they started out to get the people out to go to work. They went out to work, they were making a field, I think. So they had to--I think with a shovel, work--I never went out to work with a shovel. I somehow always managed--I was in the kitchen busy, you know. I was helping them. You see they had a pump out...outside. You had to pump outside to get the water in the kitchen. So for five hundred people, you can imagine. So I didn't have no room, nothing to do in the kitchen, because there they selected already who's going to cook. So I figured, I'm going to go and pump. Just not to go out to work, you know, because I saw my sister was going out to work. It was already in the summertime, the sun was--they were so red. They had no hose on the legs so some of the girls that, you know, they had those dresses--short dresses, and their own shoes yet. So here the, the, the leg--the feet was open. So that the sun shouldn't burn them, they went and they got some from the field there some kind of leaves, you know. And they covered up the legs with, with those leaves. And they didn't realize it that the--those leaves they had bugs. And they ran into their legs, those bugs. So don't ask how they looked. So in the meantime, these women--some of them--they couldn't go out to work. They had to stay--we had a so-called doctor there. They stayed there for a few days because those, those, bugs went into their meat. So it--they got so bad that they didn't have no solution--no anything to do for them--so they accumulate them--how many were sick, in a truck, they took 'em back. They went to Stutthof and they brought back some other girls. But thank God my sister didn't do that, you know. But she looked terrible here. And me--I--as I say, again two plates of soup so she had already the food, not like the rest of 'em. They had to stay in the line and they put a little soup in their plates, you know. But my sister--I gave my sister because I eat something else in the kitchen, you know. But in the meantime I was pumping that water and I just didn't want to move from that place. It was pretty hot. I don't know if you can imagine, just to keep on pumping and pumping, you know. And there they needed a lot of water in the kitchen, you know, for cooking, for washing the dishes. But I just didn't want to go out to work somehow, to--but I--because I seen how these girls coming back. They were there for, for, I don't know, ten hours on the sun...

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