Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bert Dan - November 17, 1982

New Officer Comes to Camp II

He was a lieutenant in uniform, naturally and he is taking over command of this whole group, and he would like to know if there is--there are any complaints, anybody has any complaints about the food or about the tre...treatment or what's going on in the camp. And naturally nobody made a move. And he said, "You don't have to worry because if I tell you nothing is going to, to uh, there's no harm being done by anybody stepping out and telling me exactly what's going on because I got to know--when I take over I want to know what's going on." And there was one fellow by the name Rigerman. He is in New York right now--an electrician. And he was really tall guy and he steps out and he said, "Yes, sir," he said, "I, I was beaten up today," and he pointed exactly at the soldier who beat him up--he was a little short fellow, you know, and, and he said, "He beat me up." He said, "How did he beat you up?" He said, "He is so small and you are such a big man." He said, "Well it is very simple, he has the gun and he has a stick in his hand and hits you in, in your face," and he said, "You can see it for yourself." And he had marks right here on his face. He said, "There's not much you can do no matter how big you are." He said, "Why did you do--he--did he do it to you?" He said, "Because I am a Jew, that's why." He said, "You sure that's the only reason?" He said, "I'm positively sure because I'm a hard worker and I do good work, so that wasn't the reason that he hit me because I wasn't working fast enough or hard enough. Because I'm Jewish. Anybody else who was beaten up today?" At this point half of the group stepped out. You know, he was the, the one who started it. Half of them stepped out and we all said that "Yes I was beaten up." And then he didn't question it any further. And then in front of all of us, he turned to the soldiers--because they were out there on the ???, you know and he told them, he said, "Now this here will happen again." He said, "I want to know about anything what's going on in that work, what was going on..." [interruption in interview]

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