Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Death of Prisoners


A barrel, but with a huge barrel. A barrel's probably uh, uh, I would probably say good three feet eh, in diameter, maybe more. Supposedly it was in case of fire. That was the main reason for it. And the problem was that if the superintendent or the helper to the superintendent or anyone there who was any way in charge didn't like someone. At night whether it's--most of us were in deep sleep, but many times I remember I hear someone walking, I open my eyes and I see a couple of people looking for a certain, a eh, in Polish it's called pokywrac, for a certain deck, certain spot where people slept, uh. And they take--all of a sudden you, you hear they're waking someone up, they're taking him. And sometime they didn't give him a chance to yell because they cover his mouth before they wake him up. And sometime they did give him a chance to yell. They take this particular party... Sometime because the party is sick and old. And sometime because someone doesn't like him because he didn't look right at, at, at, at someone, at some of the Germans. And so they grabbed, those two people grabbed the guy, they take him to the front, they head first put him in into the barrel of water and uh, uh, two or three minutes later--they, they hold, they hold him by the legs and two or three minutes later uh, they pull him out. And everyday in the morning you could see one or three people outside stretched out eh, in front of the eh, in front of the barrack. Sometime many more than that.

Did you ever see them do it?

I've seen them great number of times. It was eh, it was a great terror. Because when I was opening my eyes, I was--you know, we slept. All of us in the camp had a sixth sense. When you see it in a movie sometime then you see somebody's following you. We could feel the heat or whatever it was, someone behind us. We knew that. We felt it. It was, it was, we were pretty much like animals, like, like eh, foxes, dogs. We could feel someone looking at us or something isn't right, you know. You could see like, like, like eh, animals see the, the little uh, uh, grass is moving and shouldn't be moving. So you realize something isn't right. We felt it just, just watching everything around us we knew that something isn't right.

Like an instinct.

We felt it. Instinct. Had a certain instinct. So when you eh, eh, at night, we kind of woke up I was not the only one, but I'm speaking for myself when I see these people walking around eh, I, I see that. I, I didn't know what's going to happen. I keep my eyes half open, make believe I'm asleep. Because I didn't want them to know that I'm watching. That's another eh, if they would see somebody watching, just for fun they would put you away. Eh, so--and I was watching this quite, quite often, when they grabbed someone. And sometime as they put him in the water you still hear a yell or a, or a Jewish word Schma, you know Schma Yisrael whatever. Eh, eh, beg...begging or, or shrieking voice. Eh, but it's not for too long. Very, very quick. They done it quickly. And you hear the water bubbling a little bit, and eh, eh, it's quiet in the c...Even though it's five hundred people or more sleeping, it's, it's...You--there was no noise, it was, eh. The silence was-- you, you, you could hear everything. So that was one way how they were, how they were eh, getting rid of people. I was lucky there one time. We had what you call Entlausung.

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