Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Gusen II

Gusen II. Had you heard about it?

We never heard about Gusen II before. We went to Gusen II and there are a number of people here in Detroit who were with me in Gusen II, you know. I, I didn't realize some of the people were at, at the same camp. We got to know each other after I came to Detroit.

It's in Saint Georgen?

That's right, that's right. Gusen II was a place what we have been working on over there, we were creating tunnels. Tunnels eh, digging tunnels and creating a place for factories under the mountains. They supposedly were to eh, produce Messerschmidts eh, airplanes eh, in that place, factories to produce that, and--so our work was extremely heavy work, twelve hours a day. Eh, Gusen was a different type of a camp, again. A different type of--here what it was in Gusen. The same type of barracks. The people in charge of the barracks, the superintendent, let's say, usually was a German with a green...

A criminal.

A criminal, with, with a green triangle on his, on his eh, on his uniform. And he was a criminal. Usually they were eh, eh, killers, robbers eh, people who, who were in jails and they were the people who were taking care of us. The people who were their assistants in Gu...a number of guards were Spanish people somehow. Spanish people who run away I think to France, I don't understand the politics of it at this moment. And the Germans caught them because they were eh, eh, I think they were eh, eh, communistically inclined.

From the Spanish Civil War.

For whatever reason. These people, and these people were uh, actually helping, they were the helpers eh, to the, to the German eh, eh, Kapos who were in charge of the--in charge of the barracks. This particular camp, besides the fact--when I told you about Płaszów before, I didn't mention anything about lice, about bedbugs. There were a million lice and bedbugs and here was even worse. I mean eh, it's eh, mind boggling how, how we lived through that. And nights over at this camp were a terror. Every night was a terror. I'll explain you why. We came from work, we got our soup, whatever, piece of bread and were eh, went to bed. We worked twelve hours--there was an hour, at least twelve hours a day. An hour to the camp, an hour, two hours from the camp, stood an hour at the Appellplatz. So when we were already, we were not ready to kibbutz already. Everybody went straight to uh, to his, to his bed. Now the problem was that at night--let's back up a little bit. In front of the, right next to the door on the right side as you enter the barrack there was a huge uh, a huge, uh. Like a beer uh, uh, that's what you call this, uh...

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