Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983


You were liberated there?

Yeah, in Salzwedel. Yeah.

Tell me a little bit about that. What happened in the last few days before the liberation?

The last few days before liberation was like um, the Germans run--the things that you saw here, in the movies. They took off. They run because they knew that uh, Allies are coming, Allies are coming. So they run, and one of the--after--out on the ways. I don't know who went down there--Russians or something. They were shooting--oh yeah, they did wear their uniforms--SS uniforms and I guess the airplanes were so low on the ground they could recognize which is wearing a uniform and they shot on them. So the uh, the SS, the ones who were mean to us want to run away. They want to run away and uh, airplanes came down and they shot on them, and they brought back their bodies, their belongings. So they, they trying to--the French soldiers, yeah, the French soldiers were there--they were working in the sugar ammunition. They were um, they were separated--Jews separate and uh, Gentiles I guess. They had to do it years ago. So the French Jewish soldiers were wearing uniforms. Because they said, "If we won't wear uniform, we gonna be a Jew. At least when we have a uniform we are um, we'll belong to the Geneva Conference or something." They got uh, packages from Red Cross. They used to give our--the Germans who were on our camp--the packages so they uh, they took out the wine and the wine, the cigarettes and chocolate and they gave us the other things. And they gave us, they gave them everything what they had, so they would treat us well. They wouldn't beat us up, the French. And three days before the w...before the war ended, they went to the uh, to the German war houses for, for the German soldiers, something, and they brought to us dried potatoes. Did you ever see? They looked like um, French fries, but no um, it was, it was food and you know you were gonna live tomorrow or long as was--you just put in hot water or in that soup what they gave us and that was the food that we ate. And the French um, the Jews--were maybe 150 French Jews, 100 were Polish Jews. So they did everything they could to help us. And uh, they went from uh, farmer to farmer too, because we didn't have any stockings. We didn't have any--they collected food and clothes for us. They--other Germans--the other Frenchman put on the uniforms and they got around our camp. They supposed to burn us to uh, to burn down the whole barracks.

The Germans?

The Germans, yeah. So the French soldiers put on their uniforms, and they said, "Remember you can't kill everybody, and we'll tell on you, and the whole city will burn as those girls will be burned here." And they gave them um eh, some ???, they uh, gave them, and they spared us. But forty mi...forty kilometers from us, they put the whole uh, transported the Jewish boys in a barn and they burned the barn so they--some maybe four of the kids ran out and they came later to our camp and they told us. Not everybody was as lucky as we were.

You were liberated by the Americans?

By--yeah. One tank. One was a teenager and one was, I think, a little older. They liberated us and they--the same minute, the same day, they came in and all the Germans--I was in my room, we were facing the door--the gates, like, and uh, we jumped out of the window. One of the Germans were real mean to us, and he ran away. And uh, one of the girls shouted, "Somebody is running and running!" And like from here to the road, he was very p...precious he killed him. He was over the kitchen he was very mean guy, the German. He shot him from far away. So we went to see a German shot. That was uh, as far as I can see now, blood. I saw when we had a little of revenge in our heart. And uh, they took us to the--they had a camp, the French uh, soldiers. They made a party for us to eat, but I couldn't eat. We were, we were so hungry, and everything. I couldn't swallow and the same thing happened to me in Auschwitz, they told me. I had a piece of bread--"Eat up." Sometimes you can't swallow, when you are that upset. We were upset because we were liberated, everything, but we were like choked like uh, I, I--it's hard to describe. No matter what I'm telling you, it's hard to describe and, uh...

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