Rejoicing as our bombs were falling down – concentration camp prisoner
World War II veterans recount their stories about the war, its effects and its human perspective.
Aron Zusman recalls his feelings when the Soviet troops liberated the Pechora concentration camp in northwest Russia, where he was imprisoned as a small boy.
“We boys were running around outside. We were clapping, yelling, dancing and rejoicing. Bombs were falling down and we were hopping, because those were our bombs. I recall the first Russian solider with a huge shepherd dog, which was almost as big as him. That soldier with a red star on his helmet gave me a piece of dry bread. That was such happiness for me. I hugged him.”
Roman Orlowski too was just a boy when the Nazis occupied his home city of Katowice in Poland.
“We did not know German and it was prohibited to speak Polish. We had trouble at school. Once I was punished because of that. Our teacher grabbed my by the hair and lifted me up. I did not weigh much at the time. He was slapping me on the face, calling me a Polish swine. That is how we lived during the war…with my brothers. Our father visited us frequently. He came secretly and then left.”