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Rivka's Account
The Horrors
The Survival
An Eyewitness
The SS Officer
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"There were children crying "Mother!", "Father!" - but they were smeared with blood and one could not recognize the children.

I cried for my daughter. From afar, I saw two women standing - I went up to them. They did not know me. I didn't know them, and then I said who I was, then they said, "So you survived!".. and there was another woman crying, "Pull me out from amongst the corpses! I am alive! Help!"

We were thinking how we could escape from the place. The cries of the woman, "Help! Pull me out of the corpses!" We pulled her out. Her name was Mikla Rosenberg.

We removed the corpses and the dying people who held onto her and continued to bite. She asked us to take her out, to free her, but we didn't have the strength - and thus we were there all night, fighting for our lives, listening to the cries and screams - then all of a sudden, we saw Germans, mounted Germans - we did not notice them coming in because of the screams and the shouting from the bodies around us.

The Germans ordered that all the corpses be heaped together into one big heap and with shovels they were heaped together, all of the corpses, amongst them many still alive - children running about the place.

I saw them. I saw the children. They were running after me, hanging onto me. Then I sat down in the field and remained sitting with the children around me - the children who got up from the heap of corpses.

Then Germans came and were going around the place. We were ordered to collect all the children, but they did not approach me and I sat there watching how they collected the children. They gave a few shots and the children were dead - they did not need many shots - the children were almost dead, and this Rosenberg woman pleaded with the Germans to be spared, but they shot her.

They all left - the Germans and the non-Jews from around the place. They removed the machine guns and they took the trucks. I saw that they all left, and the four of us - we went onto the grave - praying to fall into the grave -even alive, envying those who were dead already and thinking "What to do now?".

I was praying for death to come, I was praying for the grave to open up and to swallow me alive. Blood was spurting from the grave in many places - like a well of water.

When I pass a spring now - I remember the blood which spurted from the ground - from the grave. I was digging with my fingernails, trying to join the dead in that grave. I dug with my fingernails, but the grave would not open - I did not have enough strength.

I cried out to my mother, to my father "Why did they not kill me? What was my sin? I have no one to go to!". I saw them all being killed. Why was I spared? Why was I not killed? .. I remained there, stretched out on the grave, 3 days and 3 nights .."

In his book The Righteous Sir Martin Gilbert tells how Rivka made her way, wounded and bleeding, across the field around the slaughter pits. A farmer took pity on her, hid her, and fed her. Later he helped her join a group of Jews hiding in the forest.

Nineteen years after her escape from the pit, she told her story to the court in Jerusalem during the Eichmann Trial.




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