Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982

Mortality in Factory

Getting back...

Yeah, go ahead.

I wanted to ask a question again about uh, the cement factory.


How long, did most people of the--you say a thousand people were taken in 1942 to the cement factory--of those people, how many would you say survived?

Well, when...

Did most of them survive or...

When they took me there...

'Til January 1945?

When I came there it was people already.


Yeah, this factory was there from before the war you know, belongs there. But like I say, I said it was like 1,000 or 800 or 1,200, I mean, that amount of people. When they, some people used to die, like I say, no medicine, no medical care or something. So, like they have every week a hundred or two hundred deaths, so they brought two, two hundred other ones. So when I came there, it's--like I say, I came with a hundred or two hundred--so when I came there it was everything already established. So it was a lot of people there. And whoever you know, couldn't make it, so, like I say, so--they brought back new, new horses.

It was would you say that many? A hundred or two hundred week?

A week, yes. Oh yeah, sure.

There were a thousand people there and there was...

Yes. They used to replace a hundred to two hundred a week. Bet. Because, they took 'em uh, they didn't have to be dead. Once they couldn't work, you took 'em to Auschwitz. They gassed them and, and they brought other horses, other people back.

So from the time you were there...

A lot of people.

How many, were there many people...

To the end I,

...who you came with who were there at the end?

...you know, when, when I came back we were, I think, I don't think we left ten people.

Out of the hundred you came with or...

Of the hundred and, yes. And I met people there from my city, which I knew in a handful were 'til '45, a handful. Yeah.

It sounds like it if they were one or two hundred a week.

I'm telling you.

I mean, how many people could have survived?

Absolutely. I survived. From, from the Czekanów, it was so many people. There used to be brothers, three brothers or what--I think six or seven people from--which came with me and a few before me, which really from 900 I think only two survived. Me and Cooper. From the hundred, which are two.

So people, I mean, it sounds like people, some people didn't last a week or even a month.

A month, sometimes a day. Abs...unbelievable. It was hard work, but that's how it was.

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