Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Being Ill II

You know, my leg broke--when I fell my leg broke open, you know, and they operated. When he opened it out--when he opened it up it came out all the way to the ceiling, you know, they put a big needle in, you know, to drain it out, you know. And when I was there, there was a Polish guy over there. He was one of the first political prisoners, you know, in Auschwitz, you know, when they were building the camp. He was working as a bricklayer over there--pretty smart old man, you know. When I came back after operation he was down on the bottom and I was laying on top. We were talking, he said, "What you gonna do? What's your trade?" you know I said, "I'm a carpenter." He said, "How old are you?" and I says, "Twenty-three," and, you know, whatever. And he says, "How you going to work?" The doctor told me I'm going to have a sick leg, you know. He said, "You going to listen to me?" I said, "I'll listen. Tell, tell me what you want." So he says, "They're going to take the board out," you know, they put the board underneath it so it will heal quick, you know. And uh, "We're gonna take the board out they're gonna bend your leg." He did it. I think broke open again. The nurse says two days later, she said, "I don't know how the board come out," so they sew it back up and bandage it together again, you know, they put the board back in. Same day he took it out again, you know. This leg is better than the other one...

Wife: Yes ???

You know? I went to the doctor--I go to the doctor ???, you know, he say, "Whoever did the operation did a marvelous job because this leg--the sick one is healthier than the, than the, than the other leg." I was three months in the hospital, you know, I could have stayed there another half a year but because of the old man--nurse had give him a bad time. He was ??? sick, you know, really trying to, you know, a bad time, you know, they were going to send him away. I said, "I'm going with him." In the meantime I was working with the people already. I could get along a little bit helping out, you know, I became like a nurse--shots and uh, bandages and other things you know at the hospital.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn