Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]


So, one afternoon we are laying there. It was like already, already dusk in the woods. It was early because it was winter, you know, dusk. And, somebody--we had put for the door, we put a blanket, you know, the wind shouldn't enter, snow shouldn't drift in, so we put a blanket like in front of the bunker. It was like in the hole in the ground and they--it was lucky because that paper was over it and believe it or not it wasn't even cold in the bunker. It wasn't. All of a sudden we see a gun was, was pushed in by that uh, blanket, that blanket and this man opened this a little bit and he says, "Who is here?" So, we didn't answer it. So, he came in and he said, "Listen, there are three Germans standing over this bunker. If you can, do something because in the morning they will come and it's the end of you." He was from the village, also a hunter. So we knew this is the end. This was the end! We had--and they went away because they were afraid to come in. They didn't know what was going on because it happened that those Germans uh, came into the bunkers and those, those deserters were there and they had guns and, and bombs and all kind and they killed those Germans, you know, so they were afraid. But, uh, they just went on in the village and they told where and where they found. The next day they will come and finish us. So, we had in those knapsacks, we had a clean set of underwear yet and my father was the oldest one and the most religious one from the whole bunch. And, he told us to change into clean underwear at five o'clock in the morning uh, five, five-thirty, and we all were sitting and saying with the uh, you know, ???, He was--because we were prepared. This is, this is it. In the woods was so quiet and um, you could hear what was going on. We heard like horses and cows, like it was for a farm. You heard little noises like uh, horses, like [whinny sound] you know. We didn't know what was going on. Around ten a.m. in the morning we were waiting they should come and kill us. We couldn't go away because in the, in the woods they would see our footsteps in the snow. Where could you run? You couldn't. That was it. So, this was the biggest miracle what happened to us. The horses were, they said, uh, uh, three people came from the village--the peasants came like it was ten a.m. or eleven a.m., I don't remember, and they were screaming, "You are liberated! They went away! You are liberated! Come out, come back into the village. You are safe. You are, uh, you, you, you are liberated. The Russians are here and the Romanians. They ran away, the Germans." Six o'clock in the morning 150 German soldiers were ready to come up in the woods to kill us. They didn't know how many we were in the bunker. They didn't know we are thirteen people with no guns, with no nothing there. Uh, two people were enough for one with the guns.


They didn't know--150 people, they told us, in the village were lined out to come to the woods to, to, to, to finish the, the people they, they found there. So, it came a thing, how do you say that a, uh, that they have to leave the village right away because the Russians are coming. So, they packed up and they went and we, we were liberated. This is the way we were liberated, if you believe it or not.

Full of miracles, just like you said.

Full of miracles, so help me God. This is the way it was there. We came down into the village. We stayed with them, with those nice people. We gave them whatever we had. We still send packages from here and money um, for them.

You--now, you still send them packages and money?

No, it was about three years ago we stopped. But we send and then we were there we gave and we sent and we even gave money to build a new church. We gave a big sum of money...


...for that village there. In that place where the bunker was they builded a church. So we...

And the name of that place was?



© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn