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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Day 41 - A Special Sausage to Dehydrate Us!

New viewers, scroll down to Day 1 for Introduction/Explanation of this blog.

"We waited the whole night through in a cold brick building just sitting around dozing.  There was a bright full moon and I remember I had a sinus headache with a chill.  The following morning it was better, because from now on one could forget about any treatment or relief.  You just had to grin and bear it, for better or worse, with anticipation of greater suffering more often than not.

After being marched off we were herded back for a repeat performance and pushed into over full goods wagons just off the rail tracks of the station.  It was a very isolated place and we were all given a special sausage which was treated with a chemical to dehydrate us.  We found that out soon after eating it.  The speedy elimination process had started now!

The crush in the wagons was so tight, we had no room to sit down, everything was hermetically closed, no toilets and just before pushing the doors shut on us, like in a big coffin a tall German Officer, S.S., thin and stalky, like a bean stalk, with a face to match it, with the internal self imposed grin; screeched Bon Voyage and with a big gesture slammed the doors on us, drawing and clanging the bolt.  That's exactly how it must feel to go the slaughter house!

The train began to roll steadily along and we quickly got the trap doors open, a little at a time in one corner, for more air, somebody always had a knife and as in our case, pencil and paper.  It was time to drop and pass messages before we came to the border with Germany.  At this point we were all still a bit perky!

It was the twenty sixth of April, 1944.

We figured the transport to be circa at one thousand eight hundred men and we did not have the slightest idea where we were going - "Quo Vadis", one hundred and twenty per wagon, some were bigger wagons than others, nothing to drink or eat - just the terrible sausage, which we soon learned not to touch, some did in desperation, but we all had tried some of it before, of course.

With a bit of luck we managed to get some messages out and with a bit more luck they would be picked up along the way - the train was followed by Resistance members who walked along after any transport.  I believe we were followed all the way by air on our 4 day journey.

Before we crossed the German frontier we were counted with sticks and the bashing team got going at it in great force.  They really let go!  Some prisoners weren't quick enough at jumping out and back and received gashes to their heads that were deep and bled profusely, a real pity to look at
them ............

To be continued ...

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