Taken to the Camps


So they used a bus to transport you to this, this camp?

So they want to put me in the train. And I start very much to cry then a higheren, a higher uh, uh, authority walked by and they saw were already tools and men, soldiers fighting with me and they want to push me into the wagons and I didn't want to go so they asked, "What's the problem?" So I, I start to talk of old Russian, of old Polish and I was so upset and crying und they said, "What's the, what's the matter?" So I told them they grabbed my husband in the city and my husband is in jail I just want them to let out my husband and let them send me whenever they want together what am I going to do by myself? Because I had already lost my first child und then I was pregnant with the second. So finally they took us they opened up the wagons and they asked which woman had their men in jail. So they let out a lot of women. They took a truck and they put us in a, in um, it's like in a place in a big building it was like closed up like in a yard and they let us out and start to write names, from everybody names, names, names we were three nights and three days laying on the stones outside--no food, no nothing--they bring out a little, a little water. A, a woman had a baby in front of us on the street there and this und uh, and they come and they asked names, names, names every morning. I just was startled the day come a little truck came in and people run to this and they let out men and they let the family recognize them. So the Tuesday in the morning, was already started, daytime started to come there came a little truck and I ran over and my husband and he came, he came out they didn't know what's happen because he knew I went away to see my father und then he saw me and he saw his younger brother also they caught him on the street. So he was so pale he was so white his ends was so wrinkled like from sweat. They put him in on cabin, maybe fifty people--the cabin was just for five people. There was not a place even to sit not to just to lay. In the, in the night they have to lay like sardines, if one turned over, all of them have to turn over und they were, the sweat was running from them and got to, excuse me, they to go to the bathroom they got a pale in the same room. And if they open up a little window to let out a little bit of fresh air--they just uh, if somebody was tapping on the wall they would close the little window. And he said, my husband saw me and said if I wouldn't have take him out he said he would die. And somebody, all five minutes somebody else fainted and they drag him out in the hall and pour a pale of cold water over him, if you survived, you survived, if not they died like a dog, nobody even see it, nobody even knew it. Und then uh, finally we got uh, together with my husband and they took us in the wagons. Without nothing, we were three weeks in the wagons. Und they, they, um...


In they, in the, in the train wagons, big wagons. Und they took us there and they send us and we went for three weeks on the train. I--on the way I didn't have nothing to change. There was a Polish woman, a Pol... a Polish girl she went with a Jewish like a lover so she--I begged her und we were in the same wagon to borrow me a little dress to wash uh, to change my clothes because I didn't have nothing. Und they send us away, for a, the place was called Diktarka.

It was called what?

Diktarka, it was a place where they mines, like I said before. Und we lived there maybe uh, till the war broke out and then we went away to Turkestan. Und in Turkestan I had my baby.

Wait a minute then you were you there less than 7 months?

No in Diktarka I had my baby and when I went to Turkestan I lost the baby; baby was ten months. I was about, about a year, a year and maybe a year and half in this place.

Conditions of the camp

What did you do in this camp, the first camp? What is the name of it again?



Diktarka, it's a Russian place und there was the mi...iron mines.

Oh your husband went to work in the iron mines?

The iron mines, yeah, and I was, I got the baby, I was with the baby.

And the women were allowed to just take care of their babies in the home?

Yes. The women were allowed, yeah they had small children they can't go to work; they are allowed to stay with the children. If they uh, they didn't have children they went to work too.

And what were your living accommodations there?

We were in the, in the barrack.

It was like a large?

A little, room with its own bed and its own closet.

Oh and it was like individual rooms.

Yeah, just one room.

Can you give me an idea of the size of the room?

Uh, the size of the room? Let's put it the way it was like this.

It's about the size of this room we are in?

It was narrower and longer, it was narrower than this and longer.

Alright, let's say this room is uh, 10 x 15 would you say that this room is a 10 x 15?

No, nothing, nothing it was smaller.

Smaller, about a 8 x 10?

That's more like it.

Maybe an 8 x 12, longer and thinner?

Longer and thinner, maybe a 8 x 12.

And they had in it a bed? Was it a twin bed or larger than a twin bed?

No it was like, a twin, no a double bed. We slept together in the bed, me and my husband. I don't think it was double, maybe it was a twin bed we were sleeping together.

Maybe it was a 3/4 or something?

Maybe a 3/4.

What, what else was in the room?

A little table and we got a, a little stove for, to burn bog, like wood it was a wooden stove to burn for bog.

And what about food; how did you get food?

Oh we got uh, we got uh, supermarkets we went...

It was like a town then...

A little town yeah, sure.

You mean your husband would earn money and then he would go...

He would work, yeah he was working in the mines and they give him a payroll und or, or food stamps or whatever they come to the supermarket you could go and buy for money.

And then you bought clothes that way also?

Clothes, uh, no not, very little clothes. My uncle then from Pruzany when I left everything there they sent me a few parcels came with my things when I left it there.

Oh, and the Russians allowed it in?

Yeah, the Russians allowed it in and mailed my, my things when I left it there they let it out and they came. I sold it I got uh, a little bit I sold I got my gold ring, uh, my gold ring, I sold it to people there, but whatever you can make you can sell even a shirt anything you can get for yourself to make uh, money.

What would you do with the money after you got it?

Buy what I, what I, what we can get. Buy food, buy milk.

You couldn't get enough...

Buy uh, I used to cook a, a cabbage a big cabbage with one glass of milk I used to put in uh, ah, potatoes and cabbage and a half of glass of milk but a half of glass I needed for my baby, put more water than milk--then we--I struggled.

There was a lack of food--was there, there wasn't enough, you weren't making enough money to be able to buy all the food you needed?

No, no. We, we, weren't hungry we wouldn't have luxury but uh, we got the food. We lived, as much, as much as we can, we lived.

Do you remember anything ext...um, were there any exterminations in that camp?

Exterminations, no, no, no.

Executions I think is the word I'm looking for, I'm sorry.

Executions, no, no.

Was there any kind of special law that you had to follow?

Oh yeah, sure we couldn't go nowhere ourselves und uh, be, be treated like uh, normally we didn't uh, we--I mean in our house like in our room we could do whatever we want, sing und eat und, und do what we want but they didn't, but they count us every night, came in mine and count how many people was in the room like they know. They got every barrack has a number I mean how many people lives in this room, how many people in this room, but they didn't execute us, no. 

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