When I returned to the lager nothing was said about what had happened earlier that morning by the guys. I am sure they thought I had become overwhelmed at seeing the crispy corpses, and I wasn’t going to dissuade them of course. We spent the next few days in Bialystok organizing Jews. What this meant was emptying the part of the city set aside for the ghetto and then filling it up with its new occupants.
The next few days were spent doing more of the same work we had done before in Poland. Evicting Jews, moving Jews, watching Jews, and then going back for more Jews. I thought we might end up getting billeted here, providing security for the gates, perhaps patrolling the boundaries until they built real walls. It was not to be. The army was still moving east. We were needed elsewhere, a lot of elsewhere's as it turned out.
We left Bialystock but we didn’t go far. We traveled southeast to Zabludow which took two days. Zabludow was where I began to see the change in the people and the architecture of the towns. The European influence was waning. The one thing that wasn’t changing was the number of Jews as they were everywhere. I remember talking to Hans about it. We were both amazed. “Can you believe all the Jews around here Hans? No wonder the Fuhrer said this was the breeding ground of the Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy. Because it looks like that all they do is breed.”
He laughed, looked around, spit, and told me “Yeah, if our job is going to be killing Jews than I will be retired before we clean out half of them.”
We were standing around by the truck which had brought us in. “Look at these streets, they’re wider than a boulevard back home.” They were too. The Lieutenant, who was standing next to us, surprised me by asking us “Do you know why the streets are so wide?”
We both replied “No sir.”
“Because the entire town is made of wood and the assholes don’t have a fire
We must have looked puzzled.
“It’s a firebreak. If a block catches fire the street is wide enough that only that block burns.”
“Ah, thank you sir.”
We then moved away from him so we could continue talking without having him listen in. Of course Sarge showed up and we ended up having to unload trucks.