Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Escaping Labor Camp

After you uh, escaped from...

From labor camp.

...from labor camp--number 44 you said...


...what happened to you then?

I was uh, three weeks in the forest. While in that village where we slept uh, in the square--in the open. It was my two friends we snuck behind or past the sentry. And we contacted some local guy who promised that he'll bring us food out to the forest. And this is what we spent three weeks in the forest lying quietly. And once in awhile he brought us some food, and...

Was this still in Romania?

Yeah, that was in, in Transylvania in a small town. And eventually one day he came and he told us that the Germans left, that we can come in at night to the--to town. And we made our way that night into town and, but we heard some shooting. But we went--but we were picked up by two Germans. And I still uh, don't know how we escaped them. I mean, they checked us, they--maybe they were two decent guys. But they were looking for Jews, they were looking if we have any uh, weapons they, they frisked us.

And they just let you go?

They let us--they told us to stay there 'til uh, 'til the morning. And uh, they, they made a comment that you're lucky that the military police didn't catch us because they were, they were shooting on sight people who were fleeing--especially young guys. And that uh, after...

Were they Wehrmacht or?

No, there were, they were soldiers--Wehrmacht, yeah. One I asked him where he was from and he said he's from Linz--from Austria. The other one spoke a little bit Romanian from--because he, he walked in into the house of the man that provided us with food. And they came back eventually an hour later--a half an hour later and they checked us out again and they asked if we are Jewish and we said no. And uh, we didn't want to stay there for them to come back the third time. And during the night uh, shortly afterwards we walked out and laid in some bushes for about uh, two days, three days. And we saw the Germans passing us. Not far we could hear them--we could see them lying flat. And eventually on the 16th of October the, the Russians, they came into that hamlet or that small village...

How do you remember the date?

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