Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992


Was there an Appell in the morning? An Appell?

Oh yeah.

Was this the first...

Four o'clock.

Was this the first time you had to experience something like an Appell?

They were counting people in, in Czenstochov--no, not Czenstochov, not so much in Skarzysk. But not this kind of thing.

What was the Appell like in Gross Rosen?

Well, they put out machine guns. Not, machine guns they were carrying. They put out special machine guns. They were heavy machine guns, like on a, on a veranda like. And that's what they brought in the, in the, to show like if anybody, this is ???. You know, you'll answer. If anybody tried to do, do something or something like that. But nobody did. So, there were a lot of prisoners there. And they were, they were counting. We were staying there for two hours. From four to six.

They were counting for two hours?

They, we were standing there for two hours.


Put it this way. Standing there for two hours. And then they were counting ??? and then they let us go back to the barracks. That was three times a day.

Do you remember anybody dying in the Appellplatz? It was cold right?

Oh yes. I--there was one thing they gave us when we came to Gross Rosen, we had to uh, they gave us striped clothes already. We had to leave everything. We went in like one big room--hole. And there was a SS man--was standing by one door. By the door in the back like and everybody was searched. They had to go up, undress, make him to go out, walk through and he looked in, in the mouth. And everybody, anybody naked. And then they gave us, on the other side, they gave us uh, to put on those striped uniforms. And uh, and shoes. We had to leave everything we're wearing in one room ???. And uh, it was cold. But there was nothing you can do about it. I hadn't seen it, but I have saw one time that this, this Blockälteste, he beat a guy to death.

Why? Any reason?

He was standing by the door ???. He was standing by the door when he said-- he had a whistle. When he--four o'clock. And he blowed a whistle. "Antreten zum Appell." That was, go out to the Appell. And if anybody--and he was standing by the door and he used to beat everybody. Whoever he could get a--and beat 'em there. And then there was a guy, he, he was from Czenstochov, he was from Czenstochova. I don't remember his name. And he walks in there. And he was an older man. He couldn't walk so fast or something. So he start beating him. And he beat him death. [pause] he was a criminal. And so...

Were there any Jewish Kapos in Gross Rosen?

No. No. There were some Polish. Most of 'em were Germans. They were all criminals that brought in when they organized probably this camp. 'Cause they all had low numbers.

Hm. How long were you in Gross Rosen?

Oh, a few weeks, a few weeks. Maybe four or five weeks.

Did you ever see the Kommandant?

From Gross Rosen?

From Gross Rosen.




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