How I saved myself

Of all my large family, parents, brothers, sisters and their wives, husbands and children, I am the only survivor. After hiding in a bunker for some time, I succeeded in making good my escape on 15 Heshvan, 1942. all the other occupants of the bunker were shot.

I wondered about for some time, subsisting on bread and water. Having heard that on Yatkowe Street, a number of men lived who had been spared because they were skilled artisans, I tried to join them; but they refused to admit me as one of the group, for fear of endangering all of them. They promised me, however, to keep in touch with me, and would advise me when an opportunity offered to escape.

After some time, I managed to be admitted into a workshop where metal work was done for the Germans. As there was a scarcity of skilled workers, I was taken on and there remained for whole year, until the summer of 1943. from time to time the Germans used to take out a number of men, women and children, lead them to the cemetery and shoot them. Thus my wife and my child perished.

Several members of the group kept hidden arms, to be used in case of extreme emergency. Somehow, the German got wind this. The arms were naturally confiscated, and the whole group was punished by being forced to crawl on knees and elbows for quite a distance, and this on top of their heavy quota of daily tasks. But these were not the only sadistic punishments which the Nazi camp commandants (we were moved from place to place at frequent intervals) could think up. In one camp we were made to work stark naked; numbers were branded into our foreheads and backs.

One morning we perceived that there were no Germans in the camp. We did not run away, for the simple reason that we were too ill and weak to move. Thus we waited for two days, until May 8, 1945, when, to our unspeakable joy, we were delivered by the American troops.