Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Muschkies Webber - February 2, 1987


You were in Starachowice?

Yeah. I think it was in Starachowice. They came with a truck and uh, they had a list of people and my mother was on that list and I was sneaked through on to the truck. When we came to Ostrowiec and the German that brought us handed us over to the commandant of the camp of Ostrowiec, you know we were treated like cattle, like animals, we were not people, we were numbers. In other words you walked off and you were counted: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and so on and so forth. You were supposed to have 180 people on that truck so they counted one, two, three, four, and among those 180 people two kids were there. Myself and another one. Well, the commandant of the Ostrowiec camp didn't want any children. He said, "I don't need these children," to the commandant that brought us to the soldier that was in charge that brought us and for some reason the soldier that brought us felt that we should be allowed into that camp. I don't know the reason why. It was just one of those things. In the meantime, the commandant from the Ostrowiec Lager put us on the side and told a soldier to shoot us. He was standing there with a gun and was ready to perform whatever the commandant told him. It was just unbelievable to see two Germans standing and discussing two children, two human beings, and my life and I'm standing there shaking with a gun over me. And these two Germans are discussing, should I be let into that camp or should I be shot right there and then. Because the German that was going back to that other camp wasn't going to take two children back with him. So they finally decided that they would take in the two of us and count as one person because we really don't eat much. And one of the arguments that the German that was on my side used that he used children to send messages with, to help out in the kitchen, that we really made it worth while for the little food that we ate. And we were let into the camp.

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