Miloš Pick

* 1926  †︎ 2011

  • „In September 1944 I have been put in a transport again. 2.500 men in age between 16 and 50 had been chosen. They told us we were going to Berlin for clearing out debris, but we were heading to the East three days and nights instead. It was clear we were in big troubles. Third day in four o’clock in the morning we saw kilometers of barbered wire, watchtowers equipped with machineguns, searchlights... Then it started. We had to leave everything in the train. So called Canada Commando drove us off wagons. We had to line up in five rows, SS troops were firing into the air to deter us from fleeing, and wolfhounds were running around. We slowly moved to a small table with a reflector where notorious Mengele was standing among the guards and was pursing first selection.”

  • „A transport came in January 1943. We had departed to Mladá Boleslav. Few moths before we had been registered. On 13th January we left for railroad station Psinice – two kilometers away from Libáň – and moved on to Mladá Boleslav. There we have stayed three days. I have to admit these three days were relatively ok. Except from the Gestapo officer Fidler we had been guarded by local cops, who treated us really well. They even reported to us what the BBC was broadcasting. But on the day we where leaving Nazi guards moved heavy machine guns all along our way to the railway station. Now we understood easy times were gone. If I remember the numbers right there were 721 people in our transport, but only 21 survived the war.”

  • „When it was my turn, I gathered all my strength and energy left. I have tried to look straight into Mengele’s eyes in an impudent way and shouted: zwanzig Jahre, Maschinenschlosser! Of course I was 18 years old and no locksmith at all. I had in my pocket documents which proved I was a student. The easiest thing was to pull it out and made a check. Mengele was watching me with disdain – ‘everybody is lying here like you do’ – but then he looked away. Something glittered in his eyes with joy and a pointer in his hand which was already moving to the wrong side stopped. Mengele swiftly pointed to the other side, SS guards made a space in their row and I passed trough to the right line. Only thereafter I felt sick. I realized how close I was to death.”

  • „We were heading to Terezin. I have stayed there till September 1944. There was a big hunger in those days, but we were not beaten. In comparison with what was supposed to follow in extermination camps, Terezin seemed like a sanatorium. I had been working in a locksmith workroom. I was living in the home four youth. One of us had been working in the bakery so he was able to bring a loaf of brad every day. We symbolically lived like a community. We had been bringing in food in one pot for all.”

  • „We suspected transports to the East meant completely different state of affairs, but we never thought mass extermination was possible. Sometime in 1943 Himmler started to negotiate with the West about an exchange of 10.000 trucks for 50.000 Jewish children. It was a trick of course; so many Jewish children didn’t live, but in Terezin arrived around 300 children from Byalistok at those days. An uprising had been suppressed in Byalistok and all adults had been murdered. Children had been placed in special wooden barracks in Terezin, but they brought them into the ghetto for a steam dezincification as well. Children struggled against it and screamed: ‘gas.’ My uncle witnessed it. This story was an indication of horrible things.”

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    Praha, 11.12.2007

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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I have tried to look straight into Mengele’s eyes

Miloš Pick December 1941
Miloš Pick December 1941
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Miloš Pick was born in August 16th in 1926 in a Jewish family in Libáň, where his grandfather and father owned a small factory. After the Nazi occupation he joined local resistance movement. With his friend he printed and distributed leaflets. In January 1943 Hájek was transported to Terezín. He became a member of Communist Party in 1943. In September 1944  was moved to Auschwitz. He managed to escape death in a gas chamber by reporting to Mengele higher age and a locksmith profession during the first selection on the ramp, after he got a warning from his friend Gert Körbel. Later Pick was sent to forced labor in Reich. From November 1944 to April 1945 he had been working in a factory in Meuselwitz-Buchenwald. At the close of the war in April 1945 Hájek escaped with a few friends from a death march back to Bohemia. All Jews transported from Libáň but Miloš Pick and his sister Soňa have perished. Their parents were murdered in Auschwitz. After the 1948 Miloš Pick had been working in the State Planing Commision. He was expelled from the Communist Party after the soviet invasion in August 1968.