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03.06.2020

"Holocaust Testimonies" - thimbles

Thimbles

In April or May 1942, I saw at the station in Długi Kąt, when, out of schedule, a passenger train arrived from the direction of Lublin and stopped there to let the German Urlaubzug go in the opposite direction. Nobody got off the train and nobody got on, only a few German guards armed with rifles jumped off the steps by the car doors and walked on the platform. Standing on the ramp, literally a few meters from the passenger car I noticed elegant dressed elderly people looking outside with typical Semitic features, and one of them himself made a conversation with me asking in French: "How far is it from here to Bełżec?" Because a few years before the war I stayed in Paris for a longer period I spoke French well, so in that language, I replied that they would be there in about half an hour, but that there was nothing to be happy about because they were going to die. My interlocutor was even outraged by what I said: "But Sir, what are you saying? We were assured that we're going from Amsterdam to work. There are professionals with machines and tools among us - I am a tailor, there are shoemakers, jewelers, opticians, and others among us. We are supposed to survive the whole war there in Bełżec safely. During this conversation, at my interlocutor's window other travelers like him started to gather, asked about the details of the journey, also did not believe my warnings, the hustle and bustle were growing. Seeing that further conversation did not make the slightest sense and that even intelligent Jews completely believed the German propaganda, I went further away from the ramp to the square, all the more so as one of the German officer started to be interested in the sudden bustle that the conversation resulted in.

Account no. 8 from the collection of the Museum and Memorial Site in Bełżec

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