Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Dorfman - August 11 & 25, 1989

Execution of Germans

Now as they moved in there were these, in effect there were, there were executions of, of the Germans.

Absolutely. Like Majdanek, I was there.

Civilians? They executed Germans. The guards?

There was, there was three hundred and twenty.

But they were soldiers.

No, no. They were all, they were all guards and, and--yeah. From the SS.

And they just shot them down.

They hanged them, I pulled one, you know. Every we were all the partisans or whoever had a chance to--the revenge was--is, is to pull that, I mean, the rope and I pulled one.

You did that.

Oh yeah. I looked at him, I said, "You bastard you. You see?" Oh yes. Yes. You, you can turn our world into anything. You can make--we Jews were never revengers and we were never uh, really fighters or killers. We, we, we didn't understand, 'cause we were so depressed, we were always afraid that somebody else would hurt us. But in the timing, you get so tough that you don't care no more. We weren't afraid for anything. We were not afraid for nothing anymore. But killing and so far was, was, was on the agenda every minute, every hour, so.

So from Lublin you went to Łódź?

No, from Lublin yes I went with the army, you know.

And then with the...

We lived in Łódź and from, from Łódź, actually, we, from Lublin we went to Łódź. Radom, we stopped in Radom because I made a lot of friends in Radom from, a lot uh, listen maybe ten, twelve, a few of them are still alive in my home town. Because this was, Radom was the biggest city and it was forty kilometers away from my home, from my home little town. So we, Kozienice--Radom. And then we went to Łódź. In Łódź I opened up two stores. My father did. Meat stores.

Your father was with you when...

Yes, always, yeah.

...you were in the army. Okay.

Oh yes. And in Łódź I met my wife Mala. She--they came in, they come from Czestochowa they were liberated from the Russians too. The Russians were on the move already close, close to Berlin. And uh, so my father opened up the two stores. I come into Łódź, I tell you there was another e...episode. I come into Łódź and uh, we were trying, you know, to go to Gdansk. I, I mean, the city, the big cities that, they were, which were liberated already, we went to see--to get clothing, to, you know, to go. We are on the train, they took us off the train because we were, the, the, the age, they say, "What the hell are you guys doing here." "Oh," I said, "we, we, we were this, we were that." "Come on." They took us again. They put us in back to the army. This was a few months later, this was uh, 19...1945. Took us, took us back. Took--where we were was on that train that time, a friend of mine too, a close, a close friend of mine, he, he bought uh, he tried to do anything, father came over there, they didn't let us out. Put us in back to the army. And I had papers that I was released. There was nothing to do about it. Mostly I will tell you really that time was uh, you were mad, but how could you, you know. In the most the army that time that particular outfit, the, the one that was just ??? was mostly Jews. So the officers, they're Jews, they spoke all Yiddish, I mean. They were, they were already from the partisans, you know. Because the partisans got right into, into the KGB, to the--they were, they were taking revenge you understand. And they were good soldiers, because they were soldiers all the years. And he said to me, he says, "Why the hell don't you want to go there. You're capable. Let's, let's, let's get rid of those bastards forever. I know that you don't want to die. You're not going to die, don't worry." So we were on the--in the tank outfit and uh, was probably, was about twenty of us. We left the tanks. This was already about forty kilometers. This was near Frankfurt on the Oder, not Frankfurt am Mainz, Frankfurt am Mainz was the west. Frankfurt on the Oder, not far from Breslau. About twenty of us we made up beca...all, all Jewish boys, we said, "Why the hell are we going to die again, because we didn't know what's going to happen?" Well, you know, you're going, you're going to have to fight to be the next, our move was, we were coming closer to Berlin. We were in uh, in, in, in the Zhukov Central Army. Zhukov was uh...


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