Oral History

Sam Spiegel describes hiding in woods before liberation

In 1942, Sam was forced into a ghetto in his hometown and assigned to work in a munitions factory. In 1944 he was transported to Auschwitz and then forced to work in a train factory. He survived eight days on a death march after the evacuation of Auschwitz by the Nazis. He was liberated by Soviet units in January 1945. He lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany where worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In 1947, he immigrated to the United States.


If you asked me how I survived in those woods for eight days in cold weather and everything else, I can hardly remember. I know we had frozen toes and at nighttime we used to go out from the woods. In... in Europe they used to have to put away potatoes in the wintertime outside and they used to cover them with saw... sawdust and then have a door on the south... on the south side that they used to take the potatoes out. And the sun used to come out during the day, so we stole some of those potatoes and we ate those raw potatoes and we had snow as water. And that's how we lived through till we survived from the camp... from those eight days.


View Archival Details

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.