Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982

Evacuating from Częstochowa

You didn't have any news...

We had no ideas that was what was going on. Because you couldn't believe it, you couldn't believe that they could just take the people and kill them and even if you heard the rumors you still didn't believe it.

Did you hear any rumors of other camps from the Germans?

Very seldom. But they walked in from one camp to the next--in my particular case from one place to the next they gave us different clothes. They threw away the old clothes, give you different clothes. And then we started seeing people from different camps. Everybody started telling the same story. He had--this guy came from one camp, his guards were different, this guard beat this one up, and, uh...


...they started telling how they killed this one and that one, it was already too familiar because we had already seen some of it. We were down 'til January-- 'til about January 1945.

Uh-huh. You stayed there 'til January 1945?

In this particular camp Częstochowa.


Worked in the steel mill there. In fact, I was already there without pay.

Mm-hm. You weren't with any of your brothers at this time?

No, last time I heard or saw my family was 1942 when they took me away.


So uh, they liquidated the camp--to show you, really, either we were stupid or had no brains or lost all the control of ourselves. There were no Germans, the bombs were flying all over. The ar...we heard the artillery like it was next door in January--the beginning of January and the Jewish police came in and rounded us up, "Let's go." "Where are we going? We could stay in the plants--in the mills." "Because they shot down--already shot down the mills." The Russians were already in the city in January of 1945. And even today when we get together we say how stupid could we be? There were no Germans, just our own Jews took us out and marched us to the railroad station and we just went like sheep, like stupid ignorant sheep. We could have stayed in the mills, nobody would have known about it--no Germans. And for some reason or another, beyond my comprehension we...

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