Oral History

Fela Warschau describes liberation by British forces at Bergen-Belsen

Fela was liberated at Bergen-Belsen by the British army in 1945. She went to a displaced persons (DP) camp administered by the Americans in Feldafing, near Munich. She married in the DP camp in 1946, and eventually immigrated to the United States.

Transcript

But we got weaker every day because there was nothing to eat. Finally, the last day when we had nothing, I could barely drag myself. I said to my sister, "I'm going into the barrack, and I'm going to lie down and just die in there. I do not want to die and people should just step over me like others do." They followed me. We all lie down there and just almost said goodbye to life. One of our friends--she was even younger than I was, the youngest--she was always searching, trying to find a way. So she said she has to take the last look outside and see what's going on. When she came back she said to me, "There's something funny going out there. People are running all over the place" and it's, it's unusual. It's not what usually happen. And I told her to just lay down and die in peace. She must be hallucinating. She insisted, so my sister walked out with her. When my sister came back, I don't know with what strength she came back, grabbed me by my arm, and she says, "Get up, get up. Guess what, everybody's running, and the gates are open. There's a man sitting, is it a tank or whatever"--we couldn't distinguish at that time one thing from the other--"he is speaking through a loudspeaker. His words are being translated. I think we were liberated." When I got up and walked outside, my eyes couldn't comprehend. It just didn't register. It's unbelievable. I couldn't believe this was really true, so I said to my sister that she has to grab me by my arm and do something physical so I realize I am really alive and we were liberated. It was the English army that liberated us.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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