Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Life in Blechhammer

Okay, and how long did you stay in Blechhammer?

In Blechhammer, I stay there 'til they needed carpenters in other camps, you know, so I got selected. They send more guys--everybody was saying he's a carpenter, you know, from Będzin there was a forest--big forest ???, you know, we came over there and everybody they ask, and once they took us--I don't remember how many they took. Maybe twenty-five guys. There were uh, a shoemaker, and a couple of tailors, you know, five, six carpenters--maybe twenty I don't remember exactly uh, carpenters, you know, they took a bunch of us over there. So the first day we came out in the morning and the guy said he's a carpenter. He went and he worked a day and they let him go. Next guy a day or two, you know, they let him go, 'til I was the last one, but I stayed see. I was a carpenter for good, you know.

What were the living conditions like in Blechhammer?

Even better, you know, even better than in Sackenhoym. Sackenhoym was a bad camp. It was not--it was better than in the ghetto. At least you sleeped in a bed, you know. But you had a pond--a water pond oh, maybe twice as big as this house, with fish in it. But wintertime they used to would search once in a while they used to come in from camp. From there if they caught some food on you, in summertime, you know, they beat you up. Okay, this wasn't too bad, you know, after a few weeks, you know. But in wintertime they would make a hole in the pond and push you under, kill you this way. They killed a quite few guys over there this way, you know.

Did you see this?

And we had a good--in Sackenhoym we had a good Jewish fellow, you know, he was a logger there. One time they tried to beat me up, you know, I don't know what I was doing something in the camp, you know, and they caught me. So he took me in--he was sitting at the table he told me to scream and I was scared, you know, he said, "Harder, harder ???," you know, and, you know, then he let me go and the Germans were standing outside. They didn't come in to check, you know. He was a very good guy. There weren't too many like him, you know, he was only one. Most of them were bad, you know.

In Blechhammer, how long were you there?

Well, I was in Blechhammer 'til--let's see, this was the third, or--maybe the third Christmas, I don't know. We were in Sackenhoym what maybe three, four months. Blechhammer wasn't so bad, they used to give us uh, you know, a whole loaf of bread you know three times a week like uh Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You know, in Sackenhoym they used to give us a half a loaf of bread, you know, every day. Blechhammer was a good camp, you know, it wasn't too bad, you know. But it was--in a way it was good and it was bad. Maybe you got a little more food but there was hanging, you know, just about every day, you know. Every little thing, you know, they used to take place where you stood. They used to assemble the people in the morning, you know, before going to work and they used to come in, you know, they used to count everybody, you know. I used have to stay outside in the wintertime and it was the cold. I used to do the room work, you know, make the beds, rather than ???, wash the floors and everything had to be sparkly. I stayed in just not to stay outside and freeze. You know, so there was a lot of hanging over there and killing and shooting especially in the wintertime. They used to chase us out naked, you know, to the--take a bath, you know, come back naked you know and stuff like this, you know.

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