Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Aaron Salzburg - July 24, 1984


As I approached that camp, it was near by a cemetery--a Jewish cemetery. The first thing I did--I walked on--I got into that cemetery and walked around. There was nowhere to walk anyhow. I could see the camp in the distance--it was a big--a government building. Before the war it used to be uh, an army camp, and the Germans took it over and they opened the labor camp for Jewish people, which helped a lot at that time for the people to get there other than to go to the gas chamber. As I walked around the cemetery the uh, the doors opened--wide opened--in a big wagon, horse and wagon came in with a load, load of Jewish corpse, with a few Jewish uh, guards in the front of it. From them I found out what the true thing was all about it. Uh, that uh, loaded wagon had about thirty some Jewish corpse, among them was a rabbi from Ostrowiec, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski. We had to go to work, start to bury these people. I was the only one--and there were a few more--they came over from the city, from the ghetto with the, the Jewish guards. There were a lot of Hasidim. They volunteered. They wanted very badly to bury the rabbi as their rabbi. At first, I tried to join them, but I wouldn't let to do the job because they wanted to do the job by themselves. I remember how ritually they buried him with all the needed things with the Kaddish and everything else. As a matter of fact they engraved the name of the rabbi on a tree somewhere there--the date, location and everything else. I myself, and a few other guys, went somewhere else to start to dig a common grave for the killed people. I was young and healthy. I start to put that shovel--put all my, my strength to push that foot down in, in the dirt, but for some reason I couldn't. Everything seems to bounce, bounce back like rubber. Not looking at the area directly pointing down there and I kept on pushing, pushing, pushing. Finally I looked down. I could see a human brain. A young, clean human brain has uh, the color of something almost white, yellowish. I had never before seen anything like it. As I was doing that a policeman came over running to me. He said, "What's the matter? You, you, you chose this place here to dig a grave for these people?" This particular point there, 400 Jews been buried not long ago. Maybe a couple of weeks ago. This here, that little brain, what you are seeing, that's the rabbi's grandchild. The daughter had the child, just came out of the hospital with the child. I could see the child was wrapped around in a cushion--that's the traditional first clothes or first garment a kid received in Poland, whether it was Jewish or Gentile--to keep it warm--it was wrapped around like, in a cushion, uh, a down cushion. I could see the cushion. I could see the open brain, the open brain of that little child. And this is the mother by just holding her in her hand. That's the last thing I did, I covered it up and walked away and uh, dug another grave. We buried about thirty people in a common grave. When all this was over, I went back home with the same people into the ghetto. I found out that these people were killed by a German called Captain Geier or Geier, Geier or Geier from Kielce. He was the leader of the Gestapo in Kielce. He took out a trip, must have been ninety kilometer away, for a hobby--came there and killed the people for no reason. We don't know why. Of course, he killed the rabbi. Maybe because he was rabbi, but all the others, I don't know why. [pause]

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