my misery and save me."
We started out on yet another march because the Russians
were nearing the camp. Five days of marching, and we were less
and less able to walk because of our diminished strength. Some
were given help and put on couches rigged to horses. Our
destination: Concentration Camp Gunskirchen–a
"gem" in the Austrian forest. The exhausted victims
from the couches were thrown directly into open graves, then
The barracks were packed full of people squatting–one on
each side of you, one in front of you, knee to knee, one in
back of you–crammed together. We were confined to the
barracks 12 hours at night. During the night, some of the
weaker prisoners toppled over, burying others underneath, so
that many suffocated. During the day, we were lined up and
counted three times, for two hours. Food was given to us from
a barrel the SS stood in. Our breakfast was a cup of coffee;
our dinner, a cup of soup and a slice of bread. The toilet
facilities consisted of a room for 12 men and 16 women for a
prison population of 30,000. You had to use the
"facilities" when you could find time to go–when
you were not standing in line or confined to your barracks.
Diarrhea or constipation afflicted everyone. Those who could
not wait to use the toilet were executed on the spot.
One day an unusual alarm sounded, and everyone was ordered
out of the barracks. The SS announced that someone had eaten
meat. Who did it? Meat? Here? Ahh, they had eaten part of a
corpse. Declaring what an "inhumane act" this was,
the SS shot the perpetrators in front of us to "teach us
respect for the dead ones." Oh, what a lesson in humanity.
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