Purim was approaching. I
remember it fell on Tuesday. We were ordered to get ready to march
away at 9 P.M. They didn't tell us, of course, where we were to go;
we learned though that the British were very close. We became so
agitated we went almost crazy - here we were to be marched off and
shot dead somewhere in a roadside ditch, as our friendly female SS
troopers kept promising - while, at the same time, we were so close
to being liberated....
Evening did come that
Tuesday after all, as we started off without food again, since there
was none left. The irony of it all was that we were ordered to our
death march on the eve of Purim. All night long we marched, hungry,
exhausted and without knowing where we were and where we were going.
Our only solace was the sight of the retreating mass of German
troops, which we could now see with our own eyes. Next day we were
allowed a rest during the day, to lay down in a cold, semi frozen
field. We were exhausted to such a degree that we hardly knew what we
were doing anymore; nevertheless, we were marched off again in the
evening. It was 3 A.M. when we arrived at a village, where we spent
the rest of the night in two barns. While on the road, an unending
stream of German cars and soldiers passed by us. Some of the older
soldiers were decent enough to encourage us, and a petty officer of
Hungarian or German Hungarian descent even told us to slow down, for
the Allies would catch up with us soon.