Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Life in Auschwitz II

Were there any, in your barracks, were there any Muselmann, any of the, any that you said were, were finished, you could tell they were finished?

A, a lot of them.

Were there suicides?


Not on the fences? Did anyone ever...

No, no. Uh, a few guys during the time I was in, in uh, in Bu...in Monowitz, a few guys I heard that they cut 'em, they run away. They run away. I don't know how. Certain, had jobs, uh, they took 'em like the ??? The ??? had the ai...anti-air...uh, air uh, anti-airgun.


Anti-aircrafts. They had, they picked a lot of times from our camp people in the morning, you know, on trucks and took 'em to uh, uh, Krakow. Whatever. A few guys run away. And they caught 'em. And when they caught 'em they brought 'em back to our camp. And when we marched in, we had an order not to go in the barracks. We had to go on the Appellplatz first. And this got already scared. The minute that any congregated, you know, we knew they're going to pick or do something. So everybody said, oh, who knows what's going to happen. Appellplatz? You know, we just came back from work, what happened? The minute we came on an Appellplatz we saw already uh, the uh, what do you, the hanging, the...

Gallows, yeah.

Then we knew right away that they going to show. And right away they, on the microphones they were announcing that uh, the reason the, all the workers got to go through the gallow and see because a few guys, you know, run away and then we caught 'em and that's the reason, you know, we going to hang 'em. And that's exactly what happened. So, everybody had to go through marching and look the way, on the--this was the law, the order. We have to pass by and look at the gallow and--that, that night was hunged about four, four guys. And they caught 'em.

Did anyone talk about it?


Anyone in the barracks. No?

They, we talked about it. We said that, you see what happen i...i...if you run away. Where's to run? There is no way. We are shaved. No Germans would take you in. The only chance, if you could reach a uh, deep forest and get away with it and get into the uh, Polish underground, this--but later on I, I, you know, I found out that the Polish underground didn't act good uh, if somebody came already they were talking against the Jews and, and you were uh, humiliated, and especially with girls. One guy from my city, he lives in Toronto now--Adrian Vicek is his name--he was liberated and he run away from Starowicea [Starowice]. He was in the, in the Jewish police. So, he talked to that guard during the day. Probably gave him money too, you know, he had money. Because those police what they worked uh, all the transports came uh, in, in--they, they, they were in the uh, uh, in the places what they got, let's see, undressed, and by that clothing some of 'em had a piece of gold, some of them had a few dollar, so then, you know. And the police had the authority to go in, in that uh, they called it the ??? Uh, uh, warehouses, see. And they knew where to look for it. So, he had a few dollar probably and he gave the guard and the guard gave him a gun. A gun. He run away with a gun. I didn't know then, but I talked to him already, you know, a few times I was in Canada. We grew up together. And uh, I, I knew that morning be--he run away the morning that we're supposed to be evacuated from that camp, from Starowicea [Starowice] to go to Auschwitz. A few hours before he run, run away. I remember like now, he took off that uh, he was, he was in uniform but he was going, a poli...uh, a policeman's hat, you know. He took off the hat, he throw it by the gate, you know, and he jumped the gate and jumped the other side and the forest wasn't too far. But the guard knew him, you know, the guard was paid off. He let him go and, and since then we didn't hear anything about him. But after the war in Germany I found out that he was all the time--he reached--he was a tall guy. Looked--in the underground they didn't know. He had a Polish name. Vicek is a, a, ??? is uh, not a German shepherd but--what do you call those animals? They, they look like German shepherds.

Dog, dog?

A dog, yeah.

Not a wolf.

A wolf, exactly. So, he didn't look Jewish at all. He was blonde, you know, he didn't look a Jew. So, when he saw a lot of people came to that forest and, and he got 'em connected, but they were always, they didn't know, the main gang of the uh, uh, underground, the leader didn't know that Adrian, that--Avraham was his name, Abe, you know, Avraham--and uh, they didn't know he's Jewish at all. So, he played he's a Polack, you know. Spoke perfect Polish. And he, he told me, he says, it was terrible, the way they were talking against Jews and, he says, me as a Jew and, and, and listen and not to fight back because I couldn't otherwise I would be killed. He says, I want to save my life too. They took the Jewish girls and they almost like, they raped them.

The partisans?

The partisans. No? And afterwards, he says, after they raped them they were talking about 'em, you know, bad, on top of it. So, he was very bitter after the war. Terrible. So he, after he uh, we got out, you know, from Poland he came to Germany. And from Germany he emigrated, he had an uncle in uh, in Canada. Got contact with him and he took him down.

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