Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Auschwitz Authorities

Do you remember any...anybody in the Buna plants that any of the names of people who were supervisors? Do you remember someone named Ambrose, Otto Ambrose or Schlitzer, anyone named Schlitzer? Do you remember any of the, any of the German overseers, the civilian engineers?

We were so--who cared about--that time we--I knew the name, you know.

Faces you remember.

Yeah, I--one guy, a Polish guy, his name was Otto, a blonde, Polish fellow. He wasn't too bad. He didn't beat us, he was yelling. He, he pretended, you know, for the uh, for the authority, for the Germans that he is tough. But he wasn't. He wasn't that bad; a Polish guy. He, he was red, a redhead uh, his first name was Otto. Otto.

Was there any disease in the camps?


Any illness?

I went through, in Starowicea [Starowice], I had typhoid. The whole camp. Listen, that time a lot of people died. It was no way to survive under those conditions. I had about 104, that's what they told me, 104, 105 fever. I didn't talk normal in that, you know.

You were delirious, or...

In, in that night...

[interruption in interview]

So, what were we talking about?

The fever.

Yeah. That night I was already a few days. But one--the Sturmbann...bannführer, the, the, they call it the uh, Lagerführer from that particular camp. He--once in two weeks he came, but when he came, he was built up with that uh, beast in him. He had to kill. He had to shoot somebody. So, he knew that that camp has typhoids. He knew. That's why he came, he wants shoot anybody in the barracks. So, the Jewish police had a report that he's coming. When he came, they took us all out, outside with that fever and we were standing outside and he run in in every barrack. And who couldn't get out, he--this was his pleasure, to shoot 'em on the uh, on the bed, on the bunk bed.

The Jewish police were, were well, well liked? They helped?

The Jewish police, very few, very few worked with the Germans, very few. Because this, they, they had a lot of uh, responsibility. They gave 'em all the authority and they picked up every report, everything from the Jewish police. They had to keep it up, you know. But nobody, they didn't just uh, kick or beat somebody uh, for nothing. It has to be something. He answered back or he, you know, for a reason. But they did their job.

So, they weren't hated.

No, no, no. Certain police uh, they, they were in uniform, they acted that they are already, they're going to live through, you know. But they killed a lot of Jewish police, but on the end, the Germans. Even they worked with the Germans together. But when the Germans saw they don't need anymore, the Jewish police, and when they'll, all the Jews are sent away to the camps, they killed the Jewish police. There shouldn't be no witnesses, you know. This was the whole thing about no survivors should be left to tell this story. This was Hitler idea. But he didn't succeed. He almost did, you know, he did. Six million.

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