Concordia University MIGS

Back to Holocaust Memoirs | Back to MIGS

Helen Rodak-Izso

The Last Chance to Remember




After unspeakable hardships we neared some place, but nobody knew where we were. We were not informed about anything, just went where everybody else went and miraculously lived through one day after the other. We were in danger all the time, it is unbelievable now, how was it possible not to die a hundred times? Air raids and airplanes were zooming over our heads and it was just a miracle of miracles to survive such attacks.

We were not aware how close we were to the battle zone, but very shortly this became evident. There was no need for any guessing any more. One of the girls from our group was hit, but miraculously only the rucksack on her back was damaged. It was a serious sacrifice, but she was not hurt, only terrified. We could only try to avoid the dangerous spots, but this was difficult, because we had no idea which way to go or where we were? In the chaos we didn't even realize that the guards had run off. One thing was noticeable, that our group was always thinner. There was no one to whom we could turned for information, so everybody tried to save herself. Maybe it was better that we didn't know how close we were to the battle zone. It would have been a real panic and we were frightened enough already.

A man wearing a Belgian uniform noticed us and offered his guidance. We agreed gladly and followed his instructions. He would be yelling aloud when the shooting started, telling us to run or stop and fall flat on to the ground, so that we were running just like the soldiers.

Suddenly we found ourselves at the edge of the place and looking down on a beautiful, quiet meadow, with a farm, with houses, homes. It looked like a different world, so peaceful, so undisturbed. So we climbed down, about 22 women and the soldier. The place was unbelievably quiet, totally abandoned. At least this is how we saw it. To our eyes it looked like a fairy tale or fairyland.

Back to Key Words and Abstract

To Chapter 21

© Concordia University