The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: holocaust/poland siedice.001
Last-Modified: 1994/10/18

   From the diary of Hubert Pfoch, an Austrian infantryman who
   maintained a diary and photographs detailing his observations
   regarding the Holocaust...

   "Pfoch had no idea who these 7,000 people were. The night itself,
   he noted, was a sultry one, and the soldiers slept badly. But early
   the next morning, 22 August, the soldiers' train was shunted to
   another track, and they found themselves alongside the station's
   [Siedice] loading platform. It was there, Pfoch wrote, 'that we
   heard the rumour that these people were a Jewish transport.' His
   diary continued:

      They call out to us that they have been travelling without food
      or water for two days. And then, when they are being loaded into
      cattle trucks, we become witnesses of the most ghastly scenes.
      The corpses of those killed the night before were thrown by
      Jewish auxillary police on to a lorry that came and went four

      The guards - Ukrainian volunteer SS - some of them drunk - cram
      180 people into each car, parents into one, children into
      another, they don't care how they separated families. They
      scream at them, shoot and hit them so viciously that some of
      their rifle-butts break.

      When all of them are finally loaded there are cries from all the
      cars - 'Water' they pleaded, 'my gold ring for water.' Others
      offered us 5,000 zlotys for a cup of water.

      When some of them manage to climb out through the ventilating
      holes, they are shot the moment they reach the ground - a
      massacre that made us sick to our soulds, a blood-batch such as
      I never dreamed of.

      A mother jumps down with her baby and calmly looks into a
      pointing gun-barrel - a moment later we hear the guard who shot
      them boast to his fellows that he managed to 'do' them both with
      one shot through both their heads." (Gilbert, 116)

                           Work Cited

   Gilbert, Martin. Final Journey: The Fate of the Jews in Nazi
   Germany. New York: Mayflower Books, 1979

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