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Interactive Map Part 2: Going to Kelbasin
|Hear the Story in Harold’s Own Words
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2. Going to Kelbasin:
2. Going to Kelbasin
Kelbasin was in the middle of nowhere. The entire countryside wasblanketed with white snow. The ground was frozen more than three feetdeep. The barracks was just a hole in the ground, dirt floor and the roof wascoveredwith straw.
Before each transport, eight horse driven wagons would bring moldybread and bloodwurst to give the people hope on the way to Treblinca. My Dadtold my Mother that he was going to volunteer to unload the wagons andtry toescape. He said to Mother, I will try to escape today. If I amsuccessful I willreturn and help get you and the children out . After the wagons wereunloadedhe laid down on the bottom and escaped.
We thought that we would never see Dad again. But the following weekwhen the wagons returned with more supplies my Dad was one of thedrivers. He paid off the Polish driver to let him drive the supply wagon. Whilethesupplies were being unloaded Dad went to search for us. He said toMother, Iwill try to get the boys out today and will return for you next week . Dad toldmy brother and me to follow him. My brother was stopped along the wayandturned back. I managed to reach the unloaded wagon and it was time towhipthe horses so that Dad could catch up with the other wagons that werealreadyon their way out of the camp. Dad instructed me to jump in quick andlay flaton the floor.
As we neared the main gate Dad noticed the Lager Fuhrer drive up in hischauffeur driven limousine and begin searching the wagons. Dad shoutedmyname to alert me to jump out quickly. I quickly moved to the rear ofthewagon, jumped out and rolled into the ditch. As soon as I jumped theLagerFuhrer decided not to wait for the last wagon and went to his limousineandinstructed the driver to move on.
Dad drove through that gate, stopped his wagon and engaged theGerman Guards in conversation. I was laying fifty feet inside the gatein deepsnow looking for some sort of signal from my dad. Dad positionedhimself sothat the guards backs were toward me. Dad could see me past the guardsbutcould not give me the signal that I was waiting for. I got up andquietly ranbehind the guards backs without crackling the snow and jumped in thewagon. Dad saw this. He gave the SS guards a couple of bars of soap, hewhipped thehorses and we were on our way back to the Grodno Ghetto.
Dad returned the following week to try to rescue my Mother and Brother. Itwas too late, they were taken on a transport the night before.