Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Being Transported to Buchenwald

Were there any forms of active resistance in the Birkenau?

Not that I know of.

Okay, how about in any of the other camps that you were in?

Well, there was resistance in Buchenwald.

Mm-hm. When did you leave Auschwitz?

Auschwitz I left in January 1945.

And then you went to?

To Buchenwald. Transpor...we were transported.

Why did--were you transferred from Auschwitz?

We were, we were walking about twenty miles in the snow. We walked--we marched. And then finally in Gleiwitz we were, we were, we were put into those cars--into those cattle cars and transported to Au...to Da...to Buchenwald. On the way many people died.

How long was that trip?

Oh, about four days.

Constantly moving...


...or stops?

Stops, stop, stop. We were freezing at night time. We'd stopped and we got freezing. Open, open cars, not, not, not....

Not the closed car, but open.

Not, no, open, open cattle car. We were, we were sitting like this shivering with no food and no drink, you know, in, in bitter cold. It was in January. Matter of fact, we were sitting one into--one next to the other so we were warming our backs. And a, and a, a guy who sits other side of me passed away and died during the night and I didn't even know. I was sitting on him--on, on a dead body. In the morning I--it was light. I, I pushed and I said, "Well, are you up already?" He didn't answer. Well, I, I saw he's dead. A young fellow--he was only, I think, twenty-one or twenty.

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