Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982


April the 15th we saw the first--I think the first English tank coming into the camp. And then we saw the Germans with the white armbands already. All the SS and the Gestapo that were controlling the camps--the managing the camps we saw their white flags with the white armbands and then we saw the English troops coming into camp. And the Germans started talking, "Oh, now you don't have to worry about it." They all became so nice. "The British are here, now you are free."


And then, then you saw, then you saw what really happened in that place. We saw mass graves there.

[long pause] You could smell the flesh--you could smell the bodies for miles. Then we found out what happened.

You found this out after the English...

When the, when the English came in, yeah. When they liberated the camps. When we, when we came into the military barracks we didn't know that they had a concentration camp nearby there.


When the English came they saw what really happened. They saw the mass graves and that's how we found out what really happened.

So that's really the first--second time you really saw what happened.

Well, we were told already when they opened up the camps but they didn't let us out of the camps because they were afraid people will die of typhus or whatever.

So they quarantined it.

Well they quarantined the camp for a few days, we couldn't get out. They were afraid even to feed us. But we started coming together from different places. And we heard there was a women's camp nearby so we started running and smuggling ourselves out--in and out. We went there, they came here and then they told us what happened and we found out for ourselves. We saw it.

It's still hard to believe even then, hm?

We didn't even think of families at that time. We didn't even think that we had a family or what happened to the family whether if they survived or not.

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