Oral History

David (Dudi) Bergman describes liberation by US Army in mountains near Innsbruck

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. 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.


The guards disappeared. We were left on our own. So then I marched to the highest mountain, with the strength that I had left, and I slept in a barn there overnight. We found a barn on top of the mountain. And when morning came, there were about ten of us who were assembled there. We could look from the top of the mountains, that there were vehicles going there. But we couldn't tell whether they were German vehicles or if they were American. And so somebody said...You know, I didn't have any food. I was very starved. And somebody had [food] there. They said, "we'll give you some food if you'll go down and take a look whose they were." [Laughing] Well, I figured like this: "If they're Americans, I would be free. And if...if not, either way, I'd end up being starved to death or be back in captivity." So I said, "I'll go." That was the most suspenseful walk down the mountain in my life. I'm walking slowly, slowly, slowly, to go down and see who are they. Well, I could not tell what American vehicles look like, but I knew they were not German. So I assumed it must be the Americans. And as I walked down and I saw that they were not German, I motioned for the others also to come down. I never did get the food for that because I never went back up again for it. And I saw military vehicles going by, and for me, that was one of the most moving experiences in my life, because I actually saw the mighty German army surrender.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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