“Death rushed through our windows.”
An epidemic of typhus, a disease transmitted by lice, broke out two weeks later. I was the first one to have a high fever; then many prisoners started to collapse, one after another, unable to walk. The Germans reacted by kicking them, but soon realized there was an epidemic and set up a room for the sick. The doctor sent for me and said, “You have to stay in there.”
“Not me,” I said; “I would rather work, even with the fever.” The food was wonderful for the sick ones, since it included chocolate, an unimaginable luxury item. Oh, how tempting it was!
Twenty-nine people were confined to the sick room. One day, two trucks came to pick them up. The driver said, “Come on, there’s room for 30 in the hospital where I’m taking these people.”
“Fisch,” the doctor said, “you’re the sickest; come.” But I did not go. I did not trust them. The doctor told me I was crazy not to go and said that he never wanted to see me or hear my complaints again. Many who were well volunteered to go to the “hospital,” but only one “lucky” one was chosen to be number 30.
All were shot at the edge of the village.