Forgive – Never forget 2

On 12 October 1944 we were put on transport are all, but no one knew where, and after much delay, we are 14 October 1944 arrived in the concentration camp Neuengamme. There we were welcomed by a music band that the song “Alte Comrades” played for us, this song and I will never forget. With bats were we released the wagons and sent to the parade ground, because there had to be held back appeal.

Then everything turned out to be correct, we were taken to the barracks in groups (as a man then you went in there), all you had to deliver, you got there poedelnaakt. Then you went on a local and there you was from top to bottom shaved, either lying on a table or standing, again a local further you were disinfected by a red-hot Lisoldouche, your whole body was on fire, especially in places where you were shaved. After we got thrown our clothes, consisting of a shirt – pants – jacket and shoes, whether it was your size did not matter, you had to attract, you got your number and if you could back out (number if you could start again).

After an appeal was held again, we were sent to various barracks. The next morning after the appeal we were divided into groups and had to go work somewhere. I was with a couple Putten Aren to Husum-Schwesing, where it was exactly, I did not at that time, but we have found out when we arrived there in cattle cars with some forty or fifty in a wagon, like animals, we were sitting together. We were in Husum met by the camp commander, an SS, and he called Griem, I forget the name never, it was a big mean guy who never flinched for, and that we have a few days later noticed.

We were housed in small huts where normally no more than 50 person in the condensation, but we were pushed by more than 200 man, space so we did not. There were windows in it, but without glass, so the cold wind and rain had free play and it was really very cold and wet, because here we had to dig tank traps and then you got some to your knees in water, and place to dry your clothes, there was no, so if you went to sleep, you crept as close together as possible to each other so that heat.

One evening when we arrived back in the camp of our work, was the camp commander at the entrance waiting for us with a broad grin on his face, He was drunk. He picked up a young Pole from the group and put it on a meter or 6 for him, The boy was kneeling to beg for food, Griem drew his pistol and shot him through the head, retaining his gun again and said: “A good shot”, and ran away grinnikend. We were not allowed to take the boy to the barracks, He remained there until the next morning, then we could take him to the appeal.

On another night when we came back from our work at home, pakte een hood (these are the biggest criminals, because these people have been sentenced to death and who can then prove as Kapo) a man from the group and put it on top of a working fountain, there he was squatting on sit and when he fell off there, he was beaten with a bat and had to climb back until he could no longer. When he again fell, then he was clubbed to death on the spot, So you can probably see how anxious we felt, because something could happen to you too. But fortunately we are spared this.

After having worked fortnight in Husum, we are with some Egyptians Wells deported. We were loaded into cattle cars and arrived at the station Achtrup, and hence it was still such a 7 at 8 km walk to Ladelund. When we arrived here with all the sick that we had to support and the dead which were, deceased, we were again met by the camp commander Griem, So we knew that we had to adjust again, here we had to dig tank traps as in Husum, up to your knees in water and no place to dry your own. Here it was also hard work, many beatings and little food and drink. The alloy was also very poor, here are many Egyptians Wells deceased. Fortunately, these are the hands of Pastor Meyer buried in a cemetery, they were well laid in a sepulcher, and we know the names, place and the country where they came from.

Thus one knew exactly where the dead are buried. Here the SS my jaw beaten up and I missed the top three positions, This came when we were digging. My brother said something to me and when I answered him this, jumped an SS down and began to strike me. The consequences I still suffer.

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