b. Uzhorod, Czechoslovakia (became Ungvár, Hungary), 1920
In the last days of July 1944, as the Russian troops were approaching Warsaw, the Germans decided to evacuate the Warsaw labor camp.
Orders were given to be ready for the next morning's trip. Old and sick people were not to take part in the march; they would be taken by wagons. (Of course, those who stayed never left the camp. They were shot and disposed of.)
In the morning about thirty-five hundred of us were assembled, counted, and recounted. We were on our way. As we walked we saw the Poles looking at us from their balconies, windows, and streets. “You yids will not last long. It's about time to get rid of you, ” they shouted.
One or two said, “Don't give up, the war will end soon.”
We marched without food and without water. The sun beat down on us. Those who fell or couldn't keep up were gotten rid of by the Germans on the spot.
At midday we reached a river. We were permitted to drink from the slimy, stinking water. While we were in the water, the German guards watched us from the bridge. After a short while they shouted at us, “Get out of the water, schnell.” Most of us ran out. Those who either didn't have the strength or didn't hear the orders were machine gunned. One of the victims, I remember, was a young man who was deaf.
The river ran red with blood.
Arriving finally at the town of Kutno, we waited for cattle cars to pick us up. The heat continued to be unbearable.
The train trip was the worst experience of all. Squeezed together, we endured more heat, hunger, and above all thirst. Thirst is almost impossible to describe: it does things to you, both mentally and physically. Many hallucinated, went berserk. After a day or two many died.
Those who survived at least had more room to lie down. Either they lay on top of the dead, or the dead were piled up in a corner to make room.
I don't know how we managed to get out of the cars when we arrived. I felt barely alive. I haven't the slightest idea how many of the thirty-five hundred who left Warsaw, marching before the Russian Army, reached our destination at Dachau.