Now again, on the plus side, were not put on a death-march. We were already in Germany, and for some reason or other they left us be. They just let us be. And in the end, we we - we couldn’t manufacture any more blades. We didn’t dig any more trenches. We didn’t cut any more trees. And the Russians were very nearby. The- We were called on appelle and the – the Commandant gave us a - a talk. We should remember, he said, that he treated us fairly, which in a way was true. Compared, I mean- Now I know that other Commandants had been absolutely awful! But nobody had been shot; nobody had been hurt in any way. We died, because we were- we suffered from malnutrition. But in other places you’d be shot or you’d be hit by the guards with a rifle-butt, or even be hanged! And we weren’t any of that. Partly because we were semi-skilled therefore they needed us. There were no more prisoners coming from Auschwitz, which had been blown up. So, we were quite lucky in a way. Certainly if we had been put on a death-march I would, I, I wouldn’t be sitting here. And he gave us a talk, and…then he and his deputy disappeared. They went by lorry. They did have lorries but …Army lorries. And he disappeared. We were still behind electrified barbed wire, and we still had the Ukrainian SS guards, who would have liked to shoot us. They…they had machine guns on top of the towers. And, and they took ammunition up. And they put us in a position where they could shoot more effectively. Not close together but separately – you know – more of a gap between each. And we thought, that’s it. But they talked to one another. They had a conference and they decided they wouldn’t. They were probably more interested in their own skin, because – as the Russians were near - if they were caught, and it was found that they had executed us, they wouldn’t stand a chance. They probably didn’t stand a chance anyway, but they certainly didn’t. So they really saved their own skin rather than ours but that’s what happened. That’s fine. And they left.




@ Refugee Voices 2020

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