Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Muschkies Webber - February 2, 1987

Work Camp at Bodzechów

You went with your parents?

I went with my parents, yes. I really don't know. I don't remember. It was at night and we left our grandparents behind. We took our grandmother that lived with us over to the other grandparents and uh, there was a hiding place made for them above our studio as we came in there was a little vestibule and there was a point on the roof and occasionally we pointed to it for my grandparents to hide there and my aunt and uncle, two uncles. If anything happens, they should have somewhere to hide, but later on I was told that my grandfather was coughing so he felt that if he goes up there and coughs he will betray the hiding place. So he didn't want to go up there. My aunts and uncles said, "well, if you're not going to go up there..." My grandmother was not a very healthy woman, so none of them went up and they all were taken on the first transport to Treblinka. And that was the last we heard from them. Naturally we were safe for a little while in that Bodzechów , in the working camp. Uh, my mother worked in the kitchen and my father went to the factory to work and uh, I had to...

You were living in barracks?

Yeah. It was very specially set up for the workers.

What did you do?

I was trying not to be seen. Trying to find hiding places and just didn't do much of anything except that trying to keep my ears open and every time there was any rumor that other Germans than the usual ones that were guarding us would be coming in with a truck or anything meant that they needed workers somewhere else. What was happening is there was the camp was set up for let's say, thirty workers that had working permits for that particular factory. Well, some of the survivors from our town after the wysiedlenie they sent all the Jews out from our town. After they came out of hiding and they heard of a camp where you can work and feel a little safe then they would come in. The doors were open to come into the camp. And when the population swelled, the Germans would come with trucks and load up a truck full of people regardless if you had a card or not and ship you off either to an extermination camp, because they needed more people for a transport, or to another working camp. That's how my mother and I wound up being in different camps during, from 1942 till 1944.

They moved you around?

We were moved around. During the time we were in Bodzechów , for instance, when a rumor would circulate that on that particular day they're going to come in with a truck and uh, make a selection of the workers, my mother and I would sneak out of the camp. My mother and I and other women with their children and spend the nights in the forest until the selection took place and it was again safe to come back to the camp.

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