Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Liberation from Buchenwald II

Were you underneath anything or just in there?

In there, yeah, they in there. There were a few people there hiding out. This was actually like, like a, like a toilet. People, people would be coming in there to do their things. And I was there for a whole--the whole night and in the meantime they were taking--the whole night they were taking out people to shoot. In the morning I got--and it was a--it was like light, I got up--I--it was quiet. So I went up and I, I, I didn't see any people anymore. There was thousands of people missing. Maybe ten people were sitting there in the, in the lumber yard. And they make a fire and I said, "What happened?" Said, "Everybody's gone and the Germans are gone too." That's how I found out that the Germans are gone. So uh, after a few hours the Americans arrived--about five hours later.

How many people were left in Buchenwald at that time?

Well, not too many. Well, I don't know exactly, but I know one thing--I, I was, I was taken--about a few hundred left. I was taken to the hospital--there was no hospitals yet. Because we were--there were the K...Kasernes, the Ger...the SS Kasernes the, the--behind the, behind the--a little outside of the, of the camp, there were Kasernen, SS Kasernen. But they, but they left. They fixed us up a hospital--a primitive hospital for us. So we were there--I was taken there the very first day after, after the liberation because I, I couldn't stay on my feet. I couldn't. I was really out. So when they found me, I was taken to this hospital and uh, there were no beds, no, no, no, no decks--how we call it--decks, blanket, no nothing. On the, on the bare floor we had to lay. But I was one of the first patients who--to receive blood, you know, because I was so anemic. So--and this I remembered--when, in the meantime--I saw--the first time I saw the Americans. They came into this--to this room where this hospital--this primitive hospital. They came in, they introduced themselves...

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