Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Death of Uncle

Gusen II, okay.

Still in Gusen II. I was moved to a different barrack. I went to visit him two, three days later. And I've seen him, I already knew that he is not going to survive. Had--you know, people over there eh, eh, be..., became what we call Muselmann. Muselmann, that means, you look at the, at the, the someone, you see bones and, and eh, what you call, what's that see, not just bones and, and eh, eh, nothing on the body and you see the wild look in their eyes. A wild look. We already knew that that, that parties, that we had a lot of people with this, running total naked already, with a number on his breast. Because they, they wanted to put the number in front knowing who is go...so they could eh, write down who is going to die or who is going to die. And that particular party, totally naked, with a number of his breast with a wild look in his eye was walking eh, like, like in a haze. And you seen this so much, you know, a lot. And uh, uh, next day of course that party wasn't there anymore. We always seen, there was always a pile eh, the one spot between four or five barracks are. We always seen a pile of fifty to a hundred just stacked up one on top of the other of these so to speak Muselmanns who just eh, died from malnutrition, or, or eh, or, dysen...dysen...dysentery. So I came to visit my uncle once again. I came to bring him a piece of bread. I gave him that piece of bread. But he was already, he was not naked yet, but he had the wild look in his eyes, eh. He was in a daze a little bit. He, he couldn't stand strong on his legs. [pause] I, I knew, I, I was, I was questioning myself whether to give him that piece of bread or not, because it was such a, such a dear thing to me, that piece of bread. But I left it with him. Next time I went to, next time I went there he wasn't there anymore. So he died at, at that time.

You think he was sent to Birkenau.

No, he died.

He just died in the camp.

He died in the camp, in Gusen. No he--these people were not sent. See what happened, they were piled outside our, our barrack with hundreds of these corpses. And these cor... you know, and the, these corpses were sometime for week or two, and then they were carried out by, eh...


...by a truck. We didn't know where they, where they went.

So nobody, nobody was shipped from...

Nobody was shipped from Gusen any other place, right. Nobody who's alive, okay. I tell you one thing, I was fortunate a little bit. There was a little choo-choo train that, I call it a choo-choo train because it wasn't the size of a regular train. It was carried--that carried cement into the mountains, into the, into where, into eh, the big holes which we were eh, which we were eh, working on eh, these, these manufacturing holes within the mountains, okay.

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