Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Offen - December 27, 1981

Deportation to Płaszów

Um, when did you--when were you deported from the ghetto, what were the circumstances?

Well, after that fateful day of November of '42, a short while later, I don't know how much later, we were told that we were going to go to a labor camp being readied for us in a suburb of Krakow called Płaszów. Now Płaszów happens to be a Jewish cemetery. And they're building that labor camp right near the Jewish cemetery in Płaszów. They're building barracks, all kinds of uh, facilities for labor camp. We were told that in such and such a date we were going to go to a labor camp and everything's going to be okay for us. We're going to be working and we're going to be fed. And we're all going to live in barracks. Families are going to stay together and we're going to--all we have to do is work and be fed. Well, I remember that they came, well we had to go to the Płaszów concen...eh, at that time it was called labor camp. Uh, the three of us, my two brothers and I and my father and my uncle who lived with, all of us are getting ready to go in the morning. Suddenly we start hearing a lot of shooting, Shooting and shooting and shooting. The Germans started...started to search all the houses. If I say--I don't know if it was every one, but they started searches. And if they, I ca...I think, later I was told that some people tried to hide, they figured they would hide and then eventually they'll run away, this way they won't have to go to labor camp. Well, the Germans started executions, mass executions then and a lot of people--I am told later, were found hiding and executed right on the spot. They also executed a lot of people for no reason. Because I remember I was told that a lot of, I don't know it was hundreds, a few hundred or a few thousand people were executed right there. The five of us started marching, under guard of course, towards the-- that labor camp which was oh, I don't know, three or four miles, maybe five miles away from, from our present living quarters towards the, towards the, towards the camp.

This was winter, November?

This wa...no, this wa...I believe it was early, early spring. Must have been a winter, either the end of the winter or early spring.

March? I think it was like March, it was like, it had to be like March.

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