Concentration Camp

Czestochowa, Poland

In November 1944, rumors began to spread that many of the Jews would be evacuated again to another camp. This brought tremendous fear among the surviving Jews at the labor camp. Within less than a month Sidney would turn 13 years of age and be a Bar Mitzvah. However, during time at the labor camp and with fears of being transferred to another camp, this passed unnoticed to Sidney and his family. On the 28th November 1944, SS Guards entered the camp and ordered everyone out. The SS Guards together with the Polish police lined the survivors up with the women and children on the left and men on the right. This was the first time Sidney would see the death train that brought his mother and sister to their death at Treblinka. Anna and her two daughters, Rita who was nine and Ellen who was six, were saying their good-bye to their Father. Soon a Nazi SS officer came over with a pistol in one hand and a whip in the other shouted at them to get into the car. During this commotion Sidney got separated from his father and his brother Lieb. This was the first time that Sidney as alone and fear was crippling his body as he cried on the floor. He shouted to be let him out of the train but was soon stopped by fellow survivors saying that they would kill them if he doesn’t stop. In order for Sidney to personally survive the horrors he had experience he treated life as a kind of game of survival. At this very moment in his life, he realized the tragedies of his life were all very real to him. The train began to move and during the night of travel the survivors including Sidney felt the cars being uncoupled. Many knew that some cars had women and children in them. Sidney could just think of what could happen to his cousins in the cars. Later in his life Sidney found out that they were sent to a concentration camp in Germany. They were transported to Ravensbruck and from there to Bergen Belsen. They were eventually interned with Anne Frank, author “The Diary Of A Young Girl.’ While Anne Frank perished, miraculously Sidney’s three cousins survived. Sidney, Lieb and Isaac were loaded into cattle cars and shipped to a much worse slave labor camp in Czestochowa, Poland. After hours of travel the train reached it destination. The car doors opened and the first thing that Sidney noticed was the cold air hitting his face. As he walked out of the car Sidney was looking for his brother Isaac and his father and they did found each other. Everyone was greeted by the Jewish kapo of the camp stating what happens when people break the rules. Children was ordered to stay inside the hut and to not be seen by Germans while the adults work at the factories. Sidney would disobey these orders and go out of the hut to explore the area. What he saw at the factories was laborers building German tanks for German war effort. Soldiers working on their own tanks while the laborers all stained in yellow from all the chemicals that were used to manufacture the tanks into production. Sidney was unaware of what caused them to turn yellow and just assumed that the survivors were all just really sick. Living conditions was much harsher than in Bugaj. At Bugaj, Sidney’s father had Polish employees to help them with food. At this new concentration camp in Czestochowa, Poland, they had no one. The toilet made Sidney sick since all it was a hut with a large plank of wood with holes cut into them covered with feces. The smell was unbearable, and Sidney began to think that this was the closest to hell one could get.