Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Death of Father

Ukrainian guards.

Ukra...Ukrainian guard, right. Eh, which was part of his eh, eh, part of his guard. Uh, so he sent people and stated every second one would be killed. There was a murmur throughout this particular area and number of people eh, said eh, Ferber, Ferber, Romick, Romick. My father knew German quite well. Eh, he was fairly tall, was young, and some people asked him maybe he should step forward and report. He was holding on to my brother, as I understand, and my brother was asking him not to go, holding on to him. He squeezed his hand and he, and he stepped out. When he stepped out, he reported, he called up to him, expressed everything properly. But Goeth stated to him, "Why didn't you step out right away?" And they whipped him a couple of times with the, with the whip across the face. And uh, a moment later he took out a gun and just shot him right then and there. And uh, that was the third day in the camp. And that's how we lost uh, that's how we lost our father. He was buried the, that, that same evening, uh. By the way, that was not all of it because the Ukrainians who came in and the Germans, everyone over there got anywhere from five to fifteen whips uh, across uh, uh, anyone--so that's what it was. So they were lucky, only one person died, uh. Everybody got whipped a little bit, but uh, uh, survived, uh..

When did you hear about it?

I heard about it immediately. My brother walked out. The people walked out. We knew about it right away. And my uncle who was in the police department. And uh, the Wiener, Cyla's husband, Wiener uh, Sammick Wiener, he later on orchestrated a burial uh, uh after. It was late at night and. I was over there, my brother and my uncle. And uh, I don't remember, there was maybe two, three other people that they uh, buried him right over there. I have a, I was there many times since, after the war. And I have a little bit of an idea where he's buried because I would have known better and exactly pretty near, but the barracks are all destroyed, the whole Płaszów. There's nothing over there after the war. All the barracks were destroyed. So it's hard to put your hands exactly on that spot, but, uh.

He was buried alone.

He was buried alone, yeah. So.

Your mother was still alive.

Yes, she was still alive. She lived uh, in the, in the woman's barracks.

And what did she say when she found out?

She, she was going to uh, what she say she, she was there with me when we found out, you know, what can I tell you. It was a big cry. She says, "My, my," when my brother first came, he run up and say, "We--our father we have no more, you know." It was a tragedy.

Do you remember what you did next?

Well we cried and hugged. And uh, there was not much more to do. My uncle, as I said, everybody went to the, to the barracks, it was later in the evenings. In March, at seven, seven thirty, eight o'clock, it was dark already. And then we went to the eh, my uncle called me and took me eh, together with my brother and my mother to uh, to the grave where he, where he also maybe not quite legally orchestrated a burial, okay. So as I stated before, whoever survived in ghetto, by comparison to Płaszów it, it, it was easygoing, okay. I worked, after awhile my job changed from Tapeziergemineshaft, Gemeinschaft, which is upholstery cooperative to Metalgemeinschaft which is metal uh, tool and dye, and, and, uh. Not only tool and die doing it, but also molding number of things for uh, for the Germans. Whatever tools and dies we make, we use them to uh, create certain uh, materials that were going for the front uh, for, for the Ger...to the German front.

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