Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hannah Fisk - January 24, 1983

Life in Gabersdorf II

Yeah. Yeah. What were the uh, sanitary facilities like? The bathroom?

Like I say, has to be clean, honey. Everything was sparkling. Sparkling clean in the barracks. The barracks were clean, like a whistle. The floor was white like snow. Had to wash on, on your knees, on your hand and knees. But uh, you see, first of all, our concentration camp was not this big. We were only three hundred girls, see? And they were huge amount like, in other, you know, like in Auschwitz, I think there was a million, a million people there. See, there was a different story. But we were one, two, three barracks, that's all.

And it was all women, there were no men?

All women, no men. No. No.


But every few weeks--four, five weeks, he came and he took out more and more girls and more girls. They replaced them with weak ones, with--they could hardly walk, you know. Like, after the war, you know, when the Russians liberated us, they brought chocolates and coffee, and the girls weren't used to eat this, so, they had diarrhea. They were falling like flies. Falling like flies. I was lucky 'cause that prisoner what I was working with him, he spoke German, he was a doctor. And he says to me--he was talking to me in German, I couldn't speak English. He says, "Don't eat, Annie, don't eat. You know what you eat? Old bread and hot water." And that--I was eating this for a week until my stomach got a little bit, because I was always hungry. I never, you know. Another incident I'm going to tell you. I was my father's favor. I must have sleep with my father until I was eight or nine years old. So, every night I used to pray when I go to sleep. Even to this day, I can't fall asleep. All kinds of dreams come, crazy and everything. So, even concentration camp, I was praying. And I said, "Dear God, once I want to feel how to be full. How my stomach is full that I don't go sleep empty." Stomach growling all the time, you know. And still Yom Kippur, I was fasting. And our Lagerführer--the German--used to say, "You don't eat in daytime, you not going to eat at night. I'm not going to give you nothing at night." Which, she made a joke. Which, she did gave me. I was fasting. As weak as I was, never--I was longing for that piece of bread, but I didn't eat.

Did many people fast?


Did they?

Yeah. Most of all the girls fast.

Did they?

Even if they couldn't, but they did. Yeah.

Was there much religious observance in the...

No. We couldn't, we couldn't. We not allowed. If we were praying, we were just praying by ourselves. There were not Jewish uh, books of prayers or nothing. All I prayed, I prayed from my head what I knew from home. You know. No, not allowed--we couldn't have nothing. I had a picture from my parents and they took it away and burned it right away. Everything. No diary, nothing.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn