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4. Bialystok

After the Grodno Ghetto of 25,000 Jews was liquidated the SS began liquidating the 85,000 Jewish people who lived in the Bialystok Ghetto. We realized that there was no hope for survival. There was nowhere tohide. The Christian population was threatened with death punishable for hiding a Jew. We couldn't expect them to risk their lives for us.

So when the empty transport train arrived in Bialystok and 3,500 people were required to fill the SS demands there was no reason topostpone the inevitable. My Dad and I were selected for that transport. We wereloaded on the train 100 people per box car with no food, water or sanitationforthe journey. The sliding door was sealed. We had no idea where thelocomotive would take us.

It was very crowded, standing room only. We tried to form twenty rowsof five people in each row so no one would occupy more space than theother. Itwas hot. There were only two small windows laced with barbed wire, oneateach side of the box car. Everyone gasped for air. On the second daymanyfainted from lack of water and air. My Dad held me up to the littlewindow sothat my lungs would fill with fresh air. A stronger man pulled me downand saidthat I had enough and he stood in front of the little window breathing.

Moments later we heard a shot. A bullet struck the man who stoodat the window where moments ago I was held up by my Dad. He diedinstantly. Another SS guard who was stationed on the roof of the car fired a shotthrough the roof. The bullet passed through one man's ear, my sleeve, andlandedin the stomach of the person behind me. He also died. Four days later ourtrain reached our destination. The infamous extermination camp,Buchenwald .