Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Watching Transport Leave for Treblinka

What do you recall about the moment you saw the trains being loaded?

Oh. Was--I was shaking. I was shaking. All I wanted to do was to rejoin my parents, I didn't know where they were being taken but I wanted to be with my family, on one hand. Other hand, I saw those fierce-looking dogs, with all the Germans around, I was sure they would kill me before I reached the, the train.

What did--what exactly did you see, or hear?

At that state?

Yeah. Very bad moment.

Eh, well, I heard eh, sh...shouts from the trains. And the Germans shouting "Schnell!" "Quick!" and eh, "Run!" and, "Get in!" and so on. And eh, lot of noise--a tremendous amount of noise, especially from the people inside shouting eh, asking for, "Where's my kid? Where's my child? Where's my--this one?" Was horrible. And the pushing them in--I saw them pushing them inside with force, into the wagon, 'cause there was--they were congested and locking them up...

Putting down...


...the lever.


Is this a memory that haunts you?



No. In the beginning it did. From years, it did. Now, less. At the time, I suppose.

Did you dream about it?

No. I don't think I did. But eh, when I'm awake...

So there was...

...and also when I read, when I read a lot of eh, literature about the Holocaust.

So, does it do anything to you to see a train go by?

Eh, not now. No, no.

Or certain sounds?

I think I was too young to grasp the, the ferocity of the problem. Just to keep for granted, this is--what can I do next? Where shall I go next? What shall I eat?

Did you ever wonder to yourself why this is happening?

I wondered why, of course I did.

Questioned why--what it meant to be a Jew?

Eh, no but as a human being, and why did this happen to human being, and why did I, from all my family stay behind, eh, stay alive? Why?

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