Road to Liberation

"Allied troops were close by."

"There was a road leading to the liberation. The last camp that we were in was finally bombed by the P-51 Mustangs on the 16th... of April. On the 23rd of April, that camp was closed. And we were put on what was later known as the Ganacker death march. The name of the camp was Ganacker. We left on the 23rd. By the 27th, two thirds of the convoy was almost gone, either executed... for their inability to keep going, or exhausted and dying from exhaustion.

The German commandant of that convoy made the deal, which we found out later, with the eldest of the prisoners, that he’s gonna try to save. We could hear, it wasn’t only the big guns. We... could hear already the machine gun fire. So the Allied troops were close by. So he made a deal with the eldest of the prisoners. He’s gonna try to save whatever that was left from the convoy for him trying to save his life when the Allies, you know, come. So vouch for his benevolence so to speak.

And he called us out in the clearing, and he gave an order to the SS that was still left with us, for each guard to take five or six prisoners and hold out in the farm house ‘til the glorious German army will vanquish the enemy and reassemble.

So... my father picked a Hungarian SS man, an SS man of Hungarian background whom we used to watch his conduct. We knew he was a benevolent individual; he didn’t harm anybody. And he went with us. And we wound up in a barn on the outskirts of a village. And that barn on the morning of May 1st, we heard a rumbling and we ran to the cracks in the barn and we watched three tanks with five pointed white stars on the sides and soldiers marching behind it marching on the road into the village. We thought--. Five-pointed white stars to us was Russian stars. We didn’t know the Americans, you know, used the same five-pointed stars, and we yelled, 'Oh the Russians, the Russians are here!' And the Hungarian said, 'No, no, Americana.'"