Онуфрій Дудок

* 1926

  • “In 1944 after a morning muster Reportführer (from German: “a person responsible for reporting”) announced, ‘Alles bleiben stein’ (from German: “no one is allowed to move”). This has never happened before. And then every Blockführer (from German: “head of the barrack”) was running in front of his barrack with a red pencil, looking at prisoners’ faces. And who was very skinny, that person had a “zero” drawn on his face. Every Blockführer did this. This procedure did not last for very long. Approximately twenty minutes. Eight hundred people were marked with a “zero”. The campaign was over. Then the Reportführer announced, ‘Those who have a “zero” – “bleiben stein”’ (from German: “do not move”). And “anderes – Komando formieren” (from German: “the rest are to form a commando”). After 10 minutes the drill ground was empty. Only those who had “zeroes” were there. ‘What is going to happen to us, - they said.’ – ‘To the transport! To the transport, to the transport’. We would be transported to a different place. But they were just talking that we are going to the transport. We were divided into hundreds… (Q.: "Did you have a zero drawn on your forehead?") "Yes. Because I was getting very close to be a “zero”.

  • “We were locked and the train departed. There was only a little window on the top, so it was almost dark the whole day. And then all of a sudden we heard sirens, planes flying. It was an attack somewhere. The train stopped and after a minute we heard shootings towards those planes. Meanwhile planes were dropping bombs. We heard an explosion. We heard explosions from shootings. Then a bomb exploded near our wagon – the wagon warped and stones fell on the roof. I thought, “This is probably our last hour”. I was thinking how easily a person may die, with no grief. The attack lasted for half an hour. Then planes flew away somewhere. After this the train stood still for six days. I do not know exactly. Maybe it was standing there for the whole week. Up front everything was damaged. In the wagon people were dying, because we had neither food, nor water. Provision that we had for the travel was enough for only two days. Everybody ate his/her piece of bread on the way and we did not have anything else left. And we were endlessly standing there. It was, probably, the beginning of spring. Frost. Possibly, March. Inside the wagon people were breathing so it was a little bit warmer, but outside it was freezing cold. All rivets were covered with hoarfrost. So everybody licked it for a while – it helped a little bit. There were a lot of dead bodies in the wagon. People were dying. If only we had some water. No food, no water. We couldn’t stand it anymore. People were so skinny they looked like skeletons. But finally we have arrived. The wagons were opened. – ‘Alles raus!’ (from German: “everyone out!”) There we saw the same people as us. We asked, ‘Where are we?’ And he said, ‘Auschwitz, Auschwitz’.

  • “Wehrmacht troops were responsible for the security of the camp after the SS. In Wehrmacht troops everybody was so old. They left the camp and all the documents, papers for Appellplatz, put everything in one pile and burnt it. They burnt all documents. When the wind carried away a piece of paper, the soldier would chase after it so not a single document was left. They burnt the whole volumes. We knew that something was wrong. We did not go to work. Everybody was in the camp. The front was very close. The Wehrmacht put up white flags on the cabins that meant that they would not defend themselves, because the Americans have come. Front was a few days late. SS workers came back. And started giving orders. What did they do? They turned on a siren. There was a tunnel. The whole camp was supposed to go into that tunnel. It was like that: the first hundreds were almost in the tunnel, while the last hundreds were still in the camp. They turned on a siren and we were supposed to come back to the camp. So we went back and forth a few times. Then the last ones came in and the camp was closed. SS workers ran away again. After a few days at five o’clock in the evening (at six o’clock we always had a muster) everybody was out on the Appellplatz, as always. The gates were opened, it was called the Sсhutzhaus (from German: “mountain shelter”). We saw American troops there in jeeps. They were green, the troops were all green. At that time on a square there was a mess. Everybody started running into the gates.”

  • “In the concentration camp there was a strict discipline considering lice. If one louse was found – five strokes on the butt, two – ten, and three lice – fifteen strokes. It was very strict. Every morning we had to wash ourselves, to go in the morning through the yard. There in the end of the barrack was the so called “Waschraum” (from German: “washing room”). “Waschraum” – do you know, what it is? It is a place where all prisoners were supposed to wash themselves. And in the barrack there was the so called “Stubendienst” (from German: “a watchman in a room”). Do you know, what it means? “Stube” is a room, and “Dienst” means servіce. There were many of them, those “Stubendiensts”. Everyone had his own function. They were watching who was washing and who was not. We were supposed to wash ourselves to the waist. And they observed who was not washing. In winter, for example. They saw that this one was not washing himself. He was completely undressed. They took his hands and his arms and put him in the snow, and cleaned him with a birchen broom. After this activity surely he would wash himself the next time. So there was no way out – we were supposed to wash ourselves.”

  • “When the front was approaching, for three or four days we did not have any food to eat. We had only hot water. No bread, nothing. Dead bodies were lying in piles, their heads pointing in different directions. They were put together in such a way. Along the height and the length of the barrack, because crematoria stopped working. Right next to the barrack I was in. Those American soldiers on the second day were running around with stretches. Who was laying on a bed that person was taken out by the soldiers: one person lifted in the front, another one in the back, and the third one pulled him from the bed and carried outside the camp. They did it many times. I was laying and thinking what has got the hold of me. I was dragged to stretches. And taken out of the camp. There they did a temporary shelter, because there were also barracks, but they were SS barracks. People were put there, and many died there. It was like this: a person ate a little bit and the stomach stopped working. Hunger is something horrible. The stomach stuck to the backbone. So I was carried out of the camp. And after a few days we were taken out of it.”

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“I have worked there day by day. My God, I had to be very skillful to live through a day”

Онуфрій Дудок
Онуфрій Дудок
zdroj: ЗУЦІД

Onufriy Dudok was born on June 12, 1926, in the village of Kosovets, Lviv province (now Horodok district, Lviv region). In 1933-1937 he studied at a village elementary school. In 1940-1941 he worked at a turf procurement place for an alcohol factory nearby the village of Lyubin Velykyi. In the beginning of 1942 Onufriy was deported from Lviv to work in Germany. After a few days he was arrested by the police in Nürnberg. In 1942-1945 he was kept at numerous Nazi prisons and concentration camps - Flossenbürg, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Mauthausen. He worked at a stone quarry, construction of channels and headers. Onufriy was released by American troops from the concentration camp Mauthausen on May 5th, 1945. He received medical treatment in the camp for former prisoners near Hohenfels. He worked as a loader in Munich. Until 1948 he remained in the displaced persons camp („D-p“) in the city of Nurnberg. Onufriy came back from Germany to the USSR. He was kept in a filtration camp nearby Mukachevo. In the 1950s he moved to Lviv. Onufriy worked at Lviv armature factory, later - as an electrician in a hospital. Nowadays he lives in Lviv.