Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Dorfman - August 11 & 25, 1989


Two sets of brothers.

That's right. They got killed because they, because they stayed there. We--the lady with, with that baby, me and my father and the older man and another we, we just went uh, together with all of 'em and then they were on a one place and the bombarding was going like crazy and, and uh, my father shorted a few of the go...of the Gentiles knew us and he uh, he walked up to them and said, "Listen, don't you guys say a word because there's a lot of partisans around there, around here. If you open, there's going to be a war and you're going to be killed." And they didn't say nothing. They didn't say a word. Maybe some of them would want to say, but he played a good, was a good politic. Uh, things what he did. And he--and this was about three, four o'clock in the afternoon when we got, you know, there was a place where everybody got, you know, together. You know, all the, all the, the cattle and this and that. And the Germans were around sitting with the machine guns and so forth and so on. And, and the next morning the Russians were in. But the bombardment for the night was unbelievable. My father even got uh, a piece of uh, he was, he was wounded in the leg and in, in, in his head. You know, some of the shrapnels, you know. Because the whole, every uh, every to...every little town there and every little village was burning. So you had to bes on, on, on the open fields, you know.

What did he do when he got wounded?


What did he do?

Well, listen, he wasn't wounded so badly. But when he was wounded there were people there. I mean, when they had uh, something to uh, to do with.

When the Russians came, did they, um...

The Russians...

...take him to a field hospital or something like that to take care of him?

When the Russians came? No, he was, he just had a, ripped off a little piece here. He wasn't really wounded, I mean.

So just bandages.

Not a shotgun--just bandages. But when they came yeah, oh yeah, I mean, they, they were, they were prepared, they were organized. You, you could get whatever you wanted. Listen, but they took us right away. They were uh, they, they knew when, when the first tank moved into the little village where we were. We right away jumped out, you know and uh, I don't know, I mean uh, we just said, "We Jews," you know. And, and listen, you had to know one thing that in the Russian Army, you didn't see private soldiers Jews on the front lines. The lowest rank could be a captain. The generals, all the top was all Jews. The hospitals, the doctors, all Jews. The Jews had the biggest position in the Russian Army. And uh, they took care of Jews, because they, they already went through the, the uh, the Majdaneks and the, and the Babi Yars and the others, and they knew, they like got partisans, survivors, you know, hidden by, by people or uh, listen, every, every one of us was a, was a, was a partisan survivor, you know.

So you spoke Yiddish to them?


They sp...spoke Yiddish?

Oh yeah, a lot of us spoke Yiddish. And those where they don't speak, we could understand between Polish and Russian. You cou...you could uh, listen.

When you saw the tank, did it have a red star on it?


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