Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan, Bernard, and Samuel Offen - September 3, 1987


BO: It, it, theres no conception about that, that kind of thing going on, happening anywhere in the world. I, I wanted to uh, uh, finish about this--oh, this camp I was in, which was called Judenlager. Uh, that was being closed down and I was reunited with my father and worked in the shoe factory and then uh, uh, the Płaszów camp was being liquidated. So we were--my father and I were together. We were put on a transport, on a train and sent to Mauthausen. Now, I later on found out--quite a few years ago--that, that my brothers Sam and, and, and Nathan were on the same cattle car with us and I--totally unconscious about that, that they were in the same car with me.

SO: That's right, with our father...

[talking at once]

NO: I worked, I--so I worked that time, from the ghetto, I use to go out to the uh, Zabierzów, like I said to work on that Red Cross train where the Germans were coming from the Russian front. Then this came to an end because they were starting to liquidating the ghetto. Uh, because we--they were moving the ghetto to the Płaszów camp. The Płaszów camp was on the old Jewish cemetery. This was the camp built on the old Jewish cemetery. And uh, to make the ghetto smaller they started to liquidate the people and uh, just shooting anybody on the spot. Thousands of people they were killing, killing and killing. And I was the chosen one to, to pick up the dead bodies and load them on the wagon, horse and carriages, in trucks and everything and take them down to Płaszów. We worked at it for two days, for two days, and there was--they were liquidating the hospital. This was across the street. There was a little hospital across the street from the mikvah, from the ritual baths. Jozefinska and uh, what was that hospital? Jozefinska just across from uh, they were throwing, there were little babies in the hospitals. They were picking up the babies. I saw the German SS men picking up the baby. They threw it through the window. One threw it through the window, a little baby--maybe two months old, or just born, I dont know. Just picked it up by the feet and hit it against the curb. They were doing like this with all the little babies. [pause] Then, after we were taking those bodies to the, to the, to the uh, ghe...


NO: To the Płaszów, yes uh, they decided to liquidate the people who worked on that, on that Kommando who were bringing up the people from the--and they started shooting at us. There was--we were throwing in the body in a big, big mass grave. Thousands of people. Some of them were not dead even. And moaning and groaning and people, and then they started shooting at us. I right away felt--I saw what was going on. I threw myself in on the bodies. I was covered up with blood. I pretended--I didnt scream or anything. I pretended--because then they used to go down--two of them...

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