Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Aaron Salzburg - July 24, 1984

Selection for Skarżysko II

Uh, what I was told later, from a lady, which was hidden near--nearby in a, in a basement, supposedly one of the Germans, whoever he was, whether he was a solider or an SS, SS man, lost his mind and he start to scream in German. Now I didn't hear that, but a friend of mine heard it herself, I don't mention--don't want to mention the name, she is here in the city. "Was machte zu die--diese Leute? Warum schiessen sie?" or "Why are you killing these people that are walking to their death?"--to the last march anyhow, but they kept on shooting. And they started to select the 300 people, they must have been through ten, fifteen, maybe a hundred times. Every one of these faces--one-by-one, one-by-one. Finally I was chosen to stay with these 300 people. I can't figure out how and why, because I was only a day after my fever went down, but apparently I was young and healthy looking. Pale on my face--after fever a person looks pale--but I kept on eating pretty good during my sick period--the few days which I--maybe three weeks actually what I was sick--they fed me and I tried to eat because I was expecting something like that. So for some reason I was among the 300 people, and I was the last 300 people walked out through that same gate, with a heap of people up to the sky, just laying on both sides of the, of the, of the street. And when we looked out I still could see it, people were still lined up, ready to go to the--ready to go to the trains. They must have been standing there for hours. Now why they didn't send them right away to the trains, I can't--I have a--I can think of it--I have an idea that they were waiting to see whether they can include some more people to send away. Among others I see a funny thing, from the 300 people ready to go away to this uh, Skarżysko labor camp, they came over and took out the young fellow, maybe in his eighteen years, and they took him to the nearest hospital--it was a hospital maybe a block away--and this uh, and maybe a few uh, minutes later he came, came down--a young fellow, carrying a baby--a newborn baby, wrapped around in a cushion just the way an old Polish tradition. And uh, he walked over to that other side to go away with that baby uh, to, to the gas chambers, down to the trains. I don't know what happened to the mother. There was no mother, was just a baby. Apparently the SS was tipped up--tipped up uh, tipped-off. It was uh, I believe a Catholic hospital and they released that baby to these murderers. After, after a couple hours they loaded, they loaded the trucks. And I was just about the last one to walk off the truck and they cut off maybe forty or fifty guys. There was not enough room on the trucks, so they included those to go on to the gas chambers, they walked across street and they went away to the gas chambers uh, to the trains.

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