Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Labor in Allach

Potato peelers.

...peeling. And they were not satisfied with them. So they kicked out everybody. I don't know, twenty--thirty, I don't know how many. And they decided--there was a culture in, matter of fact in Germany, they tolerated younger better than older. Old you, you mean thirty-five, forty be regarded old in the camp. But we were in the ten--teens. So all teens, all teens practically.

What do you think--what happened to the thirty who were kicked out?

Yeah, they, they put instead of us to go to the, to the BMW.

And what happened to them?

I don't know. I don't know. They just changed--exchanged people. So they went to work, they didn't...


Didn't work, didn't a good job for peeling potato, so we--they thought that we are going to peel better. So that was our luck. And we peeled that potatoes. We were in relatively warm uh, uh, place. No heavy job. We had some additional food also. At least potatoes and we have to some, some, some uh, other, some cabbage, we had to cut cabbages, we can grab a piece of cabbage. So we were relatively uh, until February, we were relatively lucky to be there. So that was that. And we were very much interested what happened with our father.

Of course.

And we tried. And meanwhile, every week or every two weeks, a small group, ten, twenty, thirty people came from Dachau always. Those who, who recuperated from that uh, different groups. And they came. And we tried to ask whether they saw him. Nobody, nobody saw. And [pause] we--the kitchen was close to the entrance of the camp. So when new group came we always could see from, through the window. So we were waiting everyday. Uh, maybe he's going to come. And one day he came. It was the beginning of November. He came, we recognized him and of course they put him in the most, the same job, which we were earlier. All the newcomers they were the be...worst. And, and my father at that time was forty-seven, which was very old. Uh, we knew that his age uh, he has several weeks or maybe a month because those who, who were there, they dying very quickly.

This is carrying cement and things like that.

Yeah all this, yeah. So my father was put immediately and was a difficult job. We were not in same barrack, but we saw him every evening. We tried--oh can I?

[interruption in interview]

So and you know, he was, he, everyday we saw that he's getting weaker and weaker. We tried to, it was forbidden, we tried to smuggle out some food, a little bit, some potatoes or something to--and we did. But it was very dangerous. We could, they could beat up, but we did. But it still was not good enough. We were in relatively good health at that time. Young and we had--and here he remem...he was uh, he remembered that he saw how epilepsy works. And he consulted the doctor in the group--there were a lot of doctors--and he told that tomorrow I'm going to fake an epilepsy seizure. And they might take me to the Revier at that time, and maybe after the Revier if he is lucky they might not put back in the, the same Kommando, they called it. They were ea...lighter Kommandos which is not that bad. Okay. So we were watching in the morning and he did. He faked so good the seizure that we, we were scared, we were fright, scared that it is a seizure. You know, of course they took him to Revier and unfortunately somebody they picked up whoever was there to put him in this place. So that was the uh, uh, the struggle for life, you know. Darwinian, Darwinian--so somebody had to but, so they put him in the Revier for a day and they uh, or two days, something--and then he ne...they never put him back to that, that job. He had a lighter job.

When he left the Revier.

Yeah, when he left the Revier, after the Revier. So he, that...

Back at Allach though?

Yeah. Everything was in Allach.

So he...but the Revier was in Dachau.

No, Revier was in Allach.

In Allach, I see.

Oh, I am sorry. Every, every camp had a Revier.


So it's just next door. The whole, the every--had a Revier. So at least he got rid of that, that uh, shall I say it in d...detail or not?

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