Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Auschwitz

And you said they had, they had told you about ovens at Auschwitz. Who, who had told you about this?

The uh, in, in the factory. The, the uh, Polish...

The Polish...

Polish people they said Auschwitz is built crematoriums. Nobody, who goes to Auschwitz, this is going to be, this is it. So, you can imagine the fear, you know. We came to Auschwitz. The first we came is to Buna. This is a, a, a small part of Auschwitz. We didn't know, you know. I know now, we didn't know at that time what happened, why would they took us to uh, Buna. Buna was to a sortation place. Uh, they took trades, you know. Plumbers, electricians, shoemakers, painters, one side. Who doesn't have a trade in the other side. So, most of them they were right away sent to the ovens who didn't have a trade. Right away. And who uh, was a tradesman they sent us straight to Auschwitz.

To build. Was this in Monowitz?

Monociv. Monivic, yeah. In Monowitz was the IG ???. The IG uh, craft. They were uh, making uh, paint uh, they were making gasoline there. All kind of chemicals and, you know, each paint is like, you know, I work there uh, like uh, whatever iron has to be painted, all kind of uh, colors, grey or red. This was my department, you know. And uh, and this was daily routine, back and forth you go, you know, until they started in 1944, they started to bomb day and night those factories. The ??? the ??? they called it. We were standing--and since then, no more painting. They gave us uh, clean up commando, aufren, aufren commando they called it. But we saw a sign already. In 1944, we saw a sign, something is happening already, you know. After all, we didn't see nothing, like the whole world would not exist, just the Germans. But in '44, we saw planes. We didn't know what kind of planes, but we saw planes bombing, so we knew this was not German planes. And that time all the, the Polish people in the factories said now it's going to be the end because they bombed--they, they were bombing cities, the railroads. English planes uh, Russian planes, and American planes. On three shifts, they were coming and going. But still it took more than a year for it to be liberated. They were bombing day and night.

Were you ever in Auschwitz 1? In the other camp, the other Auschwitz camp?

The main?

Yeah.

The main Auschwitz, yeah.

You were, but you were, were you living in the barracks in Monowitz?

Yeah.

What about Birkenau? Did you ever get to go to...

Birk...no, in Birkenau we were standing maybe a, a few days. And from Birkenau they sent us to Mono...Monowitz.

To Monowitz, I see.

So, this wasn't a working camp there. I told you, this was just, a transport came to Bu...to uh, Buna and uh, and they picked what they need and sent to uh, Monowitz, Auschwitz.


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