Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Schlieben Ammunition Factory Bombed

Theresienstadt in Austria?

In Czechoslovakia.


Yeah. And was no, was--looks like nobody won't accept us. There was no place to go. And when one time it was bombed--the, the, the factory was bombed. I was--I got hurt. It was blowed up. It was--all things was, was in the factory--everything was flammable. And I remember was, was, when we want to run out, the guard was standing, and they say, "The Germans, you can go, you can go." And we said, "Take a look." It's lightning and all of a sudden blowing. So finally they run with us and we run out and we run to a forest and we came to a village. I was--my, my head was glass--all my head was, and my face was cut here. So right away farmers came out--the Germans--it was on Germany territory. They took me in, they washed me around, they washed my head and they put bandages all over my head.

Did they know you were a Jew?

They knew that we're Jewish, we're prisoners. And they took us in and they washed us up, and they put bandages--they made me bandage on my head and they put a bandage over my, my face. Just what I had open is the nose and my mouth. I was bandaged. Then the Gendarme or the SS came for us and they picked us up and they brought us back to the camp. And then they were reading out the names and they said that who's missing, who's killed, who's missing, who's--and we stayed and they readed. And then they said those what they are hurt they will, will take you to the hospital to Buchenwald, because we belong to Buchenwald. They take us to Buchenwald and, and they will cure us and they will bring us back. So I knew the Germans already--so then right away trucks came and they took those sick people. And I was standing on the end. If it will be room I will go on the truck. There will be not room, I stay here. And they filled up--fill up. Finally I was the last one. I went up on the truck too. So a officer--a corporal or a sergeant--looks at me, and I was built stocky. I was not skinny born, I was stocky. He says to me, "You're not hurt." I said, "Officer, take a look at my head, take a look at my face, take a look..." He said, "You're not hurt. You go to the hospital, you're not hurt." I said, "What do you mean I'm not hurt? Take a look." And he grabbed me, pulled off all bandages from the head. So I had a little, you know, uh, from the, from the, from the glass. And then on the face. And he went--he said, "You're not hurt." And he kicked me off from the truck and I fell out back on the ground. Then the trucks take over. Where they went--they went about two, three miles and they shot 'em all. They shot 'em all and they didn't even take 'em to the hospital. Mazel. Luck.

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