Oral History

David (Dudi) Bergman describes being rescued by inmates before he could be taken to the Dachau crematorium

The Germans occupied David's town, previously annexed by Hungary, in 1944. David was deported to Auschwitz and, with his father, transported to Plaszow. David was sent to the Gross-Rosen camp and to Reichenbach (Langenbielau). He was then among three of 150 in a cattle car who survived transportation to Dachau. He was liberated after a death march from Innsbruck toward the front line of combat between US and German troops.

Transcript

When we arrived, I had already passed out, virtually, I was...three out of the 150 there survived. They were all...the rest of them just lay dead. And what they did is, they picked me up from the...with the hands and somebody else with the legs and then they threw me in a stretcher...carr...getting ready to take me to the crematorium. That's where they took...that's where their objective was. And somehow, they...somebody who was carrying me noticed a hand moving, that I was still alive. So at a risk to his life, he took me into a barrack. It was actually like a shower room. And I was dazed at that time, virtually, I had no idea. I thought... And when I came to in the bathroom there, it was...I woke up, and I...I thought I was dead. It was like I was in another world. "What are these people doing here? Where am I?" And I thought, I...I...I was totally dazed. I couldn't figure out even where I am. And then somebody came over and told me what happened, explained to me that "You were just a few seconds away from being thrust into the crematorium, and they saw that you were still alive." They said, "You're the first youth that age who actually made it alive." And then they took me and they hid me, you know, secretly in their barracks. So I was not even supposed to have been there. And I became like, to them, like a hero. That here are these fathers who said, well, if I made it then maybe their children would have made it through. And they...since I didn't get any rations, because I was...The ration was there like a piece of bread--enough to keep them alive til they were actually being...were going to be taken to the crematorium. And each one would take a piece of bread they would got, break off a piece and make up a slice for me, so that I could survive. And they said, "David, you must survive and let the world know what happened."


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  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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