Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Burdowski - May 13, 1982

Punishment in Camp

What were the conditions like in the camps?

Very bad, very bad. One was worse than the other.

Were you--was there any underground movement or resistance that you knew of?

No, but then in Auschwitz uh, and this was in 1943, the uh, a, a group of uh, people dug a, a tunnel and they wanted to escape. And when they dug--the tunnel was dug through the fence, one of the, of the guys knew about it and he squealed to the, to the SS--told the SS that a group of twenty-eight people will come through, so the Germans were waiting for them. And the next day everyone was hanged, including the guy who, who betrayed them. All twenty-eight people were hanged and everybody had to go through three times and watch 'em hang.

Pass by the...

Pass by the hanging--the mass hanging. And in fact they brought all the SS from all the way down and all these prisoners from uh, a lot of camps around to see how they were hanged to show that uh, nobody can escape. So that's just one little example. And we were beaten and, and uh, everyday, everyday. There wasn't a day that someone shouldn't be beaten for some reason, you know. When we walked to work--nothing--we got beaten. When we got the food, the little food that you get once a day or, or twice a day, we were beaten.


Whipped, beaten, you name it.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn