Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Shari Weiss - April 17, 1985


There came a time when you said in April of 1945 that things were falling apart around the Germans and they started to march you out of the camp in Altenburg. Is that correct?

Right. Uh-huh. We marched about, for about two days, and all during those two days all we made is about 20 kilometers. And we were marching with our few little things that we had. I don't even know, but I remember having something on my back. I think we had these white plates that they gave us our food in and of course first and foremost comes food, so we took those plates with us in case somebody is gonna give us some food someplace along the line. I'm just mentioning it because it has a bearing on my story. And as we were marching of course the Americans were bombing and not knowing who we are, of course, they saw people you know they were bombing and they came real low and they were just using like machine guns and since...

Strafing the columns?

Uh-huh. And the way I mean, of course we threw ourselves on the dirt and we hoped that by doing this since we had a big cross on our back, and we had a big number, now I don't know if the number was in front or on the back of us, but we figured they have to see that we are prisoners I mean, they're not going to kill us, I mean they are so near. It's not at us that this is directed at. So we kept on marching and for two days there was no food whatsoever of course because provisions you didn't bring with you. You didn't have what to bring with you. There was no such thing so we, what we ended up doing, we eat the grass as we were walking. We took a little grass and we were chewing on it because we had to have something. I mean this was 48 hours without any water, food or anything whatsoever and we had to march. We finally arrived into this small little village which was called Pfaffroda. And the SS was still around us. They were urging us to go on, but since gun fire and tanks were so near they decided to just let us stay outside and they were disappearing slowly and surely. All of a sudden we found ourselves without any guards, so what we did is we saw a barn that we went into...

How many of you were there?

You know something, I really and truly don't recall exactly how many of us were, I mean there was no importance in number for us, I mean there was, of course there is an importance in numbers, but I just, I don't know, but all of us that we were together, the whole group that was shipped from Auschwitz, was with us.

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