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Traveling with Polish Soldiers

Dublin Core

Title

Traveling with Polish Soldiers

Subject

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Soviet Union -- Raboche Krestʹi͡anskai͡a Krasnai͡a Armii͡a -- Polʹskai͡a divizii͡a imeni Tadeusha Kosti͡ushki, 1-i͡a.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Eastern Front.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring Thomas Buergenthal, Holocaust survivor. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Contributor

Buergenthal, Thomas

Relation

G36-00014
Tape number: 4120C

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Coverage

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Germany.
Poland.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewee

Buergenthal, Thomas

Transcription

And there was with me in the hospital a Pole, who -- he and I got up and we decided to try to move, to go, leave the camp. And we got out in Oranienburg, the town where Sachsenhausen was, and there the houses were empty: the Germans had left their homes, left food almost on the table, and had left.

And we sort of moved from one place to another, from one of these homes to another, until we came upon a group of -- a Polish division under Russian command, the First Division Kościuszko, and by then they accumulated a group of people, about five or six people all from Poland. The Polish soldiers saw me, assumed I was Polish -- I spoke Polish, and didn't dare to speak German at the time, of course -- and asked me whether I was from Poland and I said yes, and then they said, well, they'll take me to Poland.

And so what they did was take me along in with their group, and their -- this particular group was the scout company of the First Polish Division, and I became the mascot of the division. I was given a horse and a little cart. As a matter of fact, I had -- they had captured a German circus, and this was a small pony. I had my pony and moved with the troops. And actually, I always say I helped capture Berlin with my troops, because we actually moved on Berlin and I was in Berlin before Berlin fell, 'cause the troops came in -- the Russians had already advanced, Russian troops had already moved in, but I was in Berlin before Berlin fell, on the outskirts of Berlin, actually in Berlin with Polish troops. It's never mentioned that Polish troops were in Berlin among the conquerors, and it is true we were there.

We actually -- until Germany surrendered, I was -- we were still following German troops beyond Berlin. After the fall of Germany, the Polish troops were being moved back to Poland, and I was moving back with them. And we initially moved to a military garrison in Poland called Siedlce; it's a town in Poland where I spent some time, until a Jewish Polish soldier in my company took me out one day and took me to a Jewish orphanage in Otwock and left me there. And there were a lot of Jewish children in the orphanage. For the first time, I sort of began to live something of a normal life.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

00:04:00

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “Traveling with Polish Soldiers,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed November 22, 2017, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/302.

Geolocation