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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Day 42 - Schweinhunden - Train ride to the camp!

This is blog 42 of 42!

"As we were now in Germany, the S.S. were assisted by some added German police.  The mad counting and the bigger complement of guards made it look  like a kind of Welcome Society - showing us what they stood for.  An experience never to be forgotten for those who would come back!

Now, the continuous rolling and the terrible stink and mess of our confinement started to take its toll.  Standing like sardines in a tin we had to somehow make room for each other.   Some prisoners most have been lying on each other or sitting between each other's legs.  Also, a place had to be made for people to relieve themselves.  At some stations, when the situation got too bad and after hearing the crying for water, some foreign workers passed in cups of water and in turn we all had a couple of sips from it.  This is what happened in my wagon - I don't know what happened in the other wagons.

One of the old fellows, whom I vaguely recognized from the Bordeaux transport looked at me pitifully, he had a big weeping infected cut on his head and with his eyes wide open told me by look, you were right, we should have escaped en masse when our strength and means were at their best.  I was continually thinking the same thing too.  Things were becoming awfully remote now as the train moved on.  The mention of the word,  "Shweinhunden" (swine herd)! - which I had first heard when the counting took place was far behind us.

What was the next thing in store for us - it didn't take long for us to find out as we kept rolling along.  We heard the waves of aeroplanes overhead and the flak but nothing came near enough to bomb us, which I more than half wished for - never mind the casualties, it would be a chance!

We felt that a bombing would be the best thing that could befall us.  No such luck,  we kept rolling along until we were half-way through Germany.  I figured we must have been somewhere in Prussia by now. We came to a long stop and went backwards until we were out of the way and waiting along a side track.  Indifferent by now, we couldn't have cared less.

The tracks had to be kept free and the dying had to be kept on the train!!!!  When the train started moving again it was eastwards. Through the opening we started noticing names like Leipzig - so most likely the stopover had been Weimer.

I started feeling ill now with stomach cramps.  Damn that sausage, it must  have contained a lot of sodium or something similar - I was also feeling very hungry and had a terrible thirst.  There was only a few people around me still standing up by now taking it in turns to get some space.  One of them started rubbing my stomach to relieve the pain.

After than I fell asleep for a while, an uneasy sleep with dreams of running water from reservoirs over dams and weirs in between containing very nice, clear, cool, fresh water.  My thirst was really becoming a problem more than anything else.

The space in the wagon was minimal and it felt too stuffy to breath properly anymore ...

To be continued ...

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