Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Muschkies Webber - February 2, 1987

Return to Bodzechów

Were you also in a barracks there?

Uh, yeah. But we were not there for a long time. There I think my father arranged for us to come back to Bodzechów with a Gentile that came too and we followed him to the train and took the train back to Bodzechów and sneaked back into the camp. And that in itself was a miracle that we survived because on that train were two Germans from our town that had known my mother quite well. As I said, my father was a photographer and my sister played the piano so we were quite well known. And uh, my mother and I sat on the train and they passed us by because they were always looking for Jews or people that should not be on the trains with two huge dogs. And they came by us, and they looked at us, and they kept on walking. They must have recognized my mother. I remember the man that was taking us to the train wouldn't let us walk with him. He walked ahead of us and we walked behind him, because if for any reason we were stopped, he didn't know us. He didn't want to have anything to do with us. He was paid to do it. When we came to the outskirts of Bodzechów , there was a train, a railroad track that was going around the camp. And as we were approaching the camp, they were checking the rails because the train was coming up, you know it was an industrial area, and they were going with that machine that you propel by hand up and down to check the tracks if there was no sabotage. And so we were approaching that area at that time and we were right by those tracks. So my mother and I fell flat against the embankment, you know like the rails that are a little bit higher than the...and there's like a ravine...little bit. So we fell flat and that little cart passed by and they were looking on both sides to see if there was anybody that had maybe put up any explosive or anything on the rails and we were lying there and they didn't see us. It was a beautiful bright night, the moon was full. My mother and I looked at each other, and we couldn't believe that they didn't see us. And we sneaked back into the camp. We sneaked back and within a couple of weeks we were rounded up again. We were going to be sent to another camp. And we were sitting in front of the gate, standing first, then we had to kneel on our knees the whole afternoon. My father was working; he wasn't allowed to have anything to do with us. But my mother was there only because of me. There were old people, and my mother because she has a child. And we didn't know if we were going to be sent out or if we were going to be shot there. So my mother gave me instructions. I was to be, first of all she placed me behind her, we were five in a row, and she told me that if there is any shooting going to happen that I should slide in under her. accepted it so matter of factly. Repeated it to her, she kept talking and telling me exactly what to do and kept repeating it to make sure that I don't forget to do what she tells me. To slide under her, not to look to the right and not to look to the back, but to go right under her as soon as the shooting going to start. Well, fortunately we were not shot at that time. We were I think brought back into the camp. I don't remember what happened.

Do you remember at all what you must have felt like? You said you expected to be shot?


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