Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Getting Help from an SS Guard

Anyhow, when we were--they put us up to a hundred all of a sudden came to me an SS man, I could hear that he had a strange accent. And he, he had a uh, how do you call it? A uh, a, a luggage--a piece of luggage with him. And I was--we, we went twenty to five and I was from the outside, he told me, "Are you able to carry this for me?"

Twenty groups of five in a line.

Yeah. "Are you able to carry this for me to the, to the railroad truck" I said, "I will try." So he give it to me and I carried it. He came up there, so he told me to stay on that side and walk up with him together. So we walked up, so we counted in the hundred and he got one of his friends and he--one took out from the other side and he took out from, from this side of the--and he told me to watch it--to watch his uh, his, his luggage. He's got all his private belongings in there. I said, "Okay, I will try." And it got dark and he was sleeping. He was sleeping there--we--it was burning all around was burning fire from the bombardment. Anyway, we started the last unit. And all the time I was sleeping with that SS man and we were talking--he was a Yugoslav--we were just--and we were--and they were killing people right and left on that, on that unit. Somebody just went down from, from, from the trains, they just shot him. Without asking, that was no control whatsoever. Everything was--everybody was on his own. People tried to escape in the woods, maybe passed by they jumped from the train. They brought us to several concentration camps and nobody wants to take us in. Everything was overflowing. So after a few days, we went through Hamburg--the whole city was just uh, ruins. So they brought us in one afternoon to Bergen-Belsen. They brought us to a little railroad station--a tiny little village. From there we went down from the, from, from, from the cars and they start to march us into Bergen-Belsen. So we came into a strange world. But...

Did you still have the suitcase?

No, he took it away at that time.

Oh he already took it.

But he protected me during and he gave me sometimes something to eat.

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