Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Franka Charlupski - November 19, 1981

Punishments in Camp

Do you remember any incidents um, that stand out in your mind of you being punished or somebody--you seeing somebody else punished or um, seeing some of the special commandos, the special duties that they gave to the prisoners?

Uh, not in our camp. Uh, I was punished because I never could get up in the morning. My sister cried every morning. She said, "They're going to kill you. You are the one that you're gonna drive me up the wall, because they're gonna kill you." I couldn't' get up in the morning. I can't--I still can't get up in the morning. Uh, yes you were kicked, you were uh, beaten, but you were--I didn't see anyone being killed, in my particular camp. Like I said, we really had a camp that wasn't really bad. But by bad--it was bad enough, but considering what the others-- it wasn't a camp that you could-- that you got killed. Maybe one, one who got killed. I think she died, I think she died. I don't think she was killed. We had a Hauptscharführer who was a alcoholic. One night he comes into the barracks and calls everyone out, it's an Appell. We have to get out and stay at the uh, command--you stand out and ??? attention.


And he says, that there is a uh, it was a gate. And the gate had a latch, that you closed it and then the gate was closed. He didn't see that the latch was up. He just thought we took it off to burn it and to heat the barrack. And we knew better, we wouldn't do that. We would steal wood and bring it in, but we wouldn't do that, because we knew what was gonna happen. Anyhow we stayed all night long, because he was so drunk, and he couldn't see that that stick was up. We stayed all night, until one of the other SS men came in and told him that that's there. And we had to get dressed, dressed--we were always dressed to go to work. But these were just things--but as a whole he always said uh, to us--in German he said it, "Ihr kriegt nicht geschlagen weil ihr stehlt, but weil ihr schnappen ist," which means, "You don't get punished because you steal, but because you let yourself being caught."

This was the SS man...

[interruption in interview]

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