Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

Helping His Brother

So then what else happened? The Jewish girls came in...

Yeah, the Jewish girls came in, the French left, uh...


in that factory. But I had, in the meantime, I had trouble with my brother.

What happened?

Uh, my brother didn't uh, didn't uh, was elected in a different place to work, which was uh, they were asking for bakers. So, he thought uh, he gonna volunteer as a baker.

Is this brother younger than you?

He's older than I.

Older, yeah.

So, he volunteered to be a baker. So, in the meantime, it wasn't bakery at all, it was uh, it was a steel mill or something with uh, they're making shells, which was uh, with tongues to lift out those shells from these hot ovens. And uh, being weak, you know, you can't, you can't carry on you because it's hot ??? so you got to carry it from you which is, which is heavy and, and burning and... So uh, after one day of work uh, I didn't recognize my brother no more.

What happened then?

So, I went to a... I went to a guy, I don't know. And, and he knew very well a Kapo. So, I told him I'll give him two loaves of bread, something, I don't remember exactly how much. But some bread so he can switch my brother to a different job.

And what happened?

And he did this.

He did it?


And what job did he switch your brother to?

He switch it to a different job uh, but he worked. I don't know what job that is exactly. I don't remember.

Did anything happen to you or your brother for doing this?



The only thing happened uh, we didn't eat bread for two weeks.

So, that to save your brother... What, what did you survive on those two weeks?

You see, one week wasn't bad. When I was working, the one week wasn't bad. When I was working at nighttime uh, I didn't sleep during the day. I was uh, stealing, trying to steal left and right. Help out in the kitchen uh, unloading potatoes or whatever. Being in the camp uh, they could use some help. But uh, when I worked there and in the week I worked during the day. Then this was terrible. You starved.

Did anybody help you?

Uh, this is uh, this is when I got the idea, those girls. Either they pay for cooking or they won't cook at all. They won't eat either. This is what uh, made me uh, do this.

So after, that's how you got food.

So, I got potatoes. Mhm.


This is the way uh, I survived those two weeks.

Then what happened after those two weeks?

Uh, this, this was going on like this. Uh, he liked the job for the, he, he survived the job uh, then uh, this was going on like this 'til the end really. Uh...

So, there were no new...

No new...

people that came in?

no new.

How did this... Was there any political or religious activity in Auschwitz or in this camp?

No, none whatsoever.



And no resistance organizations?

No, no, nothing.

Everybody was trying to survive as best they could.

That's it.

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