Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002


So they were negotiating to get you back.

So they were negotiating. And this negotiation brought too that they took us from Siberia, from Bodaibo, and that was already late, later in the war when the, when the war turned around already. The Germans were on, on, on the uh, running side, on the retreat.

This after Stalingrad.

After Stalingrad, right. So they took us again with the trains and back, they took us to--close to a city, which is called Saratov and that's on the Volga River, which was already more central Russia, out from Siberia. And uh, over there we stayed until--I was already a couple of years older, I could already understand what's happening. As a fact, it's, it might be silly to mention that. I remember there was a railroad station over there and there were trains going back and forth. Now there were trains coming from the front, from the battlefields, with wounded soldiers going--they were taking wherever they were taking them. And there were some other trains, I remember I seen trains that they had--there were platform cars and there were huge things on top of those platform cars and they were all covered with canvas, you couldn't see what it is. But one thing I remember. On each canvas was a marking, U.S., and I could never understand, what is this. I, I couldn't, I couldn't read it. I--"What is this?" So people--"This, this is a 'U' and a 'S.' But what is a 'U' and a 'S'? I couldn't figure it out.

This was material coming from the United States?

That was, that was uh, uh, they were arms.


Weapons. That they were coming to Murmansk in Russia and, and they were hauling it with, with the trains to the front. It could of been tanks, it could of been trucks, could of be artillery pieces, could of be anything. It was all c...covered and U.S. Army on it.

After the war in Murmansk, American troops were there.


That was the First World War.

Probably. And then again another thing. Food was never in abundance over there. We were always starving. But those wounded soldiers that they were coming, those trains and the train used to stop and uh, we used to walk around you know, and, and they used to throw out cans, uh, cans, so. I remember also. I picked up a can and it was written in Russian--whatever, I couldn't, I couldn't make it out. But also on top of that tin can, again I seen U.S. and I couldn't, again, I couldn't figure out, what does that mean, what is this? That was the, the food supply for the Russian army.

So this was near S...Saratov.

That was near Sarat...you see there're two cities. There's Engels and Saratov. One is on one side of the Volga and the other is on the other side of the Volga the one across the other. But we were not in the city, we were kinda away from over there. It was, it was...

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