Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Treatment in the Labor Camps

Let me ask you a quick, just a second.


In all these labor details from the beginning when they took you, when they pick you up off the streets all the way to this, up to this...


point, what kind of treatment did you see or did you experience yourself?

The treatments right away was no good. When we came to Lublin, see, there's so much to talk about it, when we came the first day. We were outside. The camp was already a lot of people there. But the first thing they took us to a little shack and each one of 'em, they gave me a, a, a wire and a piece of wood, and the minute I hold the wire he says ??? you know, I should roll that piece of wire on that wood. And they contact it and, and, and, and I got electric...like shocks, electric shocks. Everybody, no reason. This was that you should be afraid and obey whatever they tell you. Later we found out from the other people they were there already, you know. They told 'em, everybody's got to go through those shocks. But the shocks is so--it's not a, a killer, but it's terrible, you know, like, you, you stick your finger sometimes, you have that experience? I have plenty of times because I do painting--electricity, you know. The minute you start to put the wire it, it shakes you up terrible. And then they plug it and unplug it. It's not a high voltage, otherwise it would, you would be killed right away, you know. But it, it shakes you up terrible. And then from then on you, you, you're afraid. You're afraid for your own shadow.

Were people being beaten? Or ???

Well, I wasn't too long there to see. But I heard later, yeah, they were beating and kicking when they went out to work, when they came home.

Starowicea [Starowice] was...

Starowicea [Starowice] was a, a factory. Then they were building uh, I, I went back to work again. Again to a factory. I got myself in an office and I registered that I want to work for the uh, for the factory. And they registered. They registered. See, this was already forgotten from before I worked there too, you know.

Same factory?

The same factory. And I went back in that factory and I worked there 'til they were building already regular barracks. And in between they started already with uh, Judenrein to chase out from the ghettoes. In that camp, that uh, forced labor camp was a permanent camp they made. And then they brought from all around Starowicea [Starowice], from all around the little cities, Radom, Kielce, Skarzysko, they brought--this was a big uh, camp they were building. They expected it, you know, to clean out Jews from around the area, a lot uh, uh, from a lot of vicinities. And they brought 'em to our camp. It was a permanent camp and then we all, by guard, we marched to work to, to the factories. Didn't get paid. Only we got is a piece of bread in the morning in the camp and twelve o'clock we had a soup in the factory and a soup when we came home in the evening, six o'clock.

You were living at home still?


You were living in the camp.

That's all.

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