Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Wimmer - January 1, 1985

Bombing of Area Around Krupp's

Then it was uh, bombing. They bomb--they want--that they were after this ammunition factory. They bombed day and night. Once, they, they, they hit the, the factory, our factory. And when they did we, we had to--the windows from the factory everything were, were, were broken out. Part of the factory was damaged, but most of the factory wasn't. So, our three barracks were bombed and, luckily, we were not there. We were at work. This all was on fire. So, we, we--before this time, before this uh, happened, once it--they bombed and we were there, but it was a miracle that we, all of us, could, could still reach a blanket, whatever we had, to run out from the barracks and--but we couldn't run out from the fences because they, they didn't get the order. The soldiers who watched us did not get the order to let us out because the Gestapo, the Gestapo officer wasn't there, the main officer. So, we were in the blankets and the fire was going and we were screaming they should let us out. They wouldn't because they--he waited 'til the Gestapo men came. Finally, he came and he took us out. He let us out and not too far from our barracks where they burned down was uh, uh, a theater, a movie theater. So, they brought us in there and they put down on the theater uh, little, little uh, mattresses, very, very small. Inside was like--I don't know if it was hay or whatever was inside, wasn't like a mattress what we have here and, and we was laying there the hundred--the 500 girls were laying there on the floor until they rebuilt the three barracks. So, we were living there. The, the circumstances we were stepping on one another. Then, it was uh, two uh, washrooms, two ladies' rooms was over there for 500 girls. It was unbelievable what was going on day in and day out. We couldn't shower and we couldn't wash and we, we didn't have--we were--while we were laying we were eating and sitting and everything was at the same little spot where we had. It was--we couldn't--we stepped on one another when we had to pass by. This how tragic it was. After a short time, they build up the three, three barracks again and we went back to each, to our own barracks. And, and after this, the, the factory was bombed and we, we had to--it was, it was terrible because when the factory was bombed, we were, we were in the factory, but they took us out. They had Schutzgraben, they call it, uh, hiding places eh, eh, underneath the factory so we were down there. And they had a warehouse over there with ammunition why, while we were there, sitting there. And as soon as the, the, this went over the, they stopped bombing. They let us out. And they, they sent us home. We marched. We could not--we were not allowed to walk on the sidewalks. We always walked to work, from work on the street. And from both sides, five girls in the middle and from both sides, lady officers, you know, they did not carry guns with, but they watched us, ladies, in the, in the uniforms like a soldier. And this was going on for a whole year. It was, it was a lot going on. It was bombing. I made it briefly. Bombing was going on every day while we were working. We hardly ever could sit and eat up whatever they gave us with not being interrupted to run down to the Schutzrooms to hide because it was day in and day out bombing. In our, eh, eh, the three barracks, we--the 500 girls, we had to make our own Schutzgraben--they called it Schutzgraben--we had to make our own. Like dig grave under, under the ground and, and make hiding places. When, let's say, on the weekend when we were in the barracks and we heard the alarm was whistling and right away we knew that we had to go down. So, if it was in the daytime we just uh, took whatever we saw and we went down. If it was in the nighttime, we just took the blanket and we, we run down. It was so frightening. It--many times my sisters now, so many times they remind me because here and there I will say, "Oh gosh, if I could only diet. If I could only have willpower to go on a diet and lose a few pounds." They always remind me. You don't remember what you said every single night before you went to bed. You said, "God, please help me. I want to die. I don't want to live any more. I have nothing to live for." And this is what I said. I said what is there to fight for? Parents to guide us, to protect us, to, to say a good word to comfort us, we didn't have. The five sisters we were very close, but there is so little one could do for the other. We did when one was sick, we could take a little piece of our bread from each the four remaining pieces and give a little bit more for the other sister who needed more. This is what we could do. How much more could we do? Medication, if one was sick we didn't have to, to help her or, or if one had the harder job, I'm sure my, my other sister would like to take it over and say let me do--work on your machine, work what I work because two of my sisters had easier machines to operate, but they couldn't switch with me. Unfortunately, I was the unlucky. I, I--this was assigned to me. I had to do it. But, we survived, but it was so hard, so hard.

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