Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mala Weintraub Dorfman - September 15, 2005

Punishment in Skarzysko

Last time we talked, we talked about this as a kind of education that you got.

Oh yeah. Like people ask me, what college did you go to? I said, I went to the best college you could ever go to. The best education I got. They can't believe it, you know, that you survived. If you have to survive, you do it. We were lucky, I was lucky, that's all. I was very lucky.

So, you were in Skarzysko for how many weeks, how long?

I was there uh, two, almost two years.

Two years.

Yeah. And one incident I'll never forget. When I came home from twenty hours work and they wanted me to go take a shower and I said I'm not going, I cannot move. So, they put me in a bunker for twenty-four hours with the rats. And I was hanging on, on, on the, on the pipes because I was afraid of the rats. For twenty-four hours. I walked out of there, I was as white as you are. People did not recognize me when I walked into the barrack.

You hung there for twenty-four hours.

Yes, yes.

How big was the bunker?

Very little, not too big.

Could you stand up?

No, I wouldn't stand up, I was afraid for the rats.

But it was tall enough to stand in.

Yeah, yeah. I just was lucky that I could reach those uh, pipes and I hung on 'em.

And it was probably dark, was it.

Dark, sure, sure.

So no food, no water, just the rats.

Nothing, nothing. And that was a Jewish Kapo [whispered] that did that to me.

So, you experienced some rough times because of Jewish Kapos.

That's right. Wanted to show they're boss, they're boss.

Did the Kapo survive?

I... One did, but he's gone, they finished him.

Did you have to go back to work right away?

Yeah, sure. Sure I had to go back to work.

Twenty hours, was that a normal shift that you...

No, it wasn't normal. This was exceptionally long time. I just couldn't move. I just could not go and, and take a shower.

So what were the normal shifts, like twelve hours?

Twelve, sixteen hours, but this was abnormal, twenty hours, at that particular time.

And very little food.


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