Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lola Taubman - December 22, 2009

Bombing in Camp

You said you were in a village...


...before you went back to Czechoslovakia and went from--when you were in the village you went from one house to another house, bombed out houses. How did you get to this village? You were at, you were at, you were at a camp in Malchow.

In Malchow.


Daughter: After ??? were you in Leipzig after that? Were you in Leipzig before or after Malchow?

Well, after Malchow they came and selected people to work in ammunition factory...


...in, in uh, Leipzig. So again, we were on a train. Half of my relatives went to another camp, and Elizabeth Weiss and Olga and my cousins, we were chosen to work in Leipzig-Schônefeld. We were bombed every night. Every night uh, we went to the, to the bunker and, and from the bombs people lost their hearing. It punctured our, our, our ears. I was lucky it didn't happen to me but I worked on the night shift.

What did you think when the bombs were falling?

Uh, I didn't want to die, but we were hoping--and it happened--that the, the factory was bombed but that too--everything had a, a, a side story to it. When we arrived to Leipzig uh, they didn't know who were Jewish and who was not. So they put us in a, in a dormitory--in a two-story dormitory. And next day the good Ukrainians reported us who were Jewish, and they put us in a wooden barracks outside. And the, the bombers knew that the Jews were in the wooden barracks. They didn't bomb that but they bombed the, the brick dormitory and killed all the Gentiles. And uh, so my, my, my job was uh, I got a, a cannon shell. It was this size and they had to stretch it to that size on a very complicated machine. And I had a Ukrainian supervisor but then there was a German super...civilian supervisor above her and she said, "If you want to live you gotta sabotage." I said, "What do I do?" She said, "You see all these buttons? You wait awhile before you push the button and it would smash the, the cannon, the cannon shell." So the--then the German came, "How come the rejects are full and the good things are empty?" I said, "I don't know." And they punished her; they cut her hair every time. And she would run outside and when the Russian bombers came she would wave with a red kerchief to them. Uh, but they were...

So how long were you there?

In Leipzig? You know, I don't recall when we left. Not very long, a few weeks.

And then where?

Then we went--then they bombed the factory there was nothing to do. They sent us on a death march. That's when those tanks came and mowed down the girls.

German tanks. German tanks.

German tanks, yes.


They were--and, and then you started seeing--you know we were every village two or three times. They wouldn't let us be liberated by the Russians or by the Americans. We just went around and around and uh, it was awful, awful. We were--and, and then little by little they, they tried to change their uniform with our uniforms so they can survive. But they, they, they survived, they went to the, to the ca...to a farm. The farmers took them in, gave them clothing. And we started seeing destroyed ammunition on either side of the road and they were uh, retreating. It was a confusing, very confusing.

So the guards disappeared?

Yes, yes.

And what did you do then?

There was nobody to take care of us because they were still fighting on. So that's what I said, we went in a bombed out house and we didn't have food. There was not a doctor--the Germans didn't provide a doctor to take care of injured people. They didn't care. And the Americans were busy. They gave us chocolates and they kept fighting on.

So that was your liberation? A chocolate bar?

Yes, right.

Daughter: She, you know, when she said before she was lucky that all those people got sick and died from being overfed but she survived most of the war and then in the end she had typhus after she was liberated, and that's what almost killed her, so...

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