Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mala Weintraub Dorfman - September 15, 2005

Life in Skarzysko

Um, what would happen if in the middle of the night you got up and went to the latrine? Did anybody do that?

We didn't.

You didn't.

We wouldn't go. At night, for sure not, no. We didn't, no.

Was there any abuse from other prisoners? People stealing bread or...

No, not where I was in this barracks because we knew each other.

You knew each other.

And there was one of our friends, she was older than us and in the morning when she would cut off a piece of bread and the rest she would hide for us. When we come back from work, then we have another piece to eat. And that's what we did.

So, she would stay in the barracks?

No, no, no, no, no. But she hiding.

But she was hiding it.

Yeah, she was hiding it, yeah. But I was fortunate with uh, Mrs. Hoffman. She used to bring me food and I could uh, give it to other people. Like when she brought uh, a ham, I wouldn't eat ham. So, I gave it to my friends. And as hungry as I was, I could not swallow ham. I couldn't. I was taught that way so, you know, I didn't do it.

Just between us, have you eaten ham since?

Never. Never bacon, never ham, never, never sausages, I didn't eat any. No, never did. You know, we had it...

If you wouldn't eat it there, I guess you wouldn't eat it afterwards either.

I don't know, I didn't. That's-I have witnesses. They could, they, you're crazy, why don't you. I said, I can't swallow it.

Um, so it was not dog-eat-dog where everybody was looking out for themselves.

Yes and no. We were very close. To this day whoever lived through, we still have friends that we lived through together. No, we looked out for each other, we helped each other.


If I had it I, I would share it. I would never eat by myself.

But were there others who...

Yeah, I know there was a mother and a daughter, and the daughter said to her, you lived long enough, I have to eat your bread.

And the mother died.

Yeah, and that's was... Yes, it's the truth.

But nobody gave you advice and said...


...do for yourself.

...who would give us advice? I was young, you know. I was fifteen when the war broke out. I was on my own. Take today a fifteen-year-old, is she on her own, can't be. But we had no choice, so we were. We took care of ourselves.

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