Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Working for Krupp

Were you--when you worked for Krupp...


what was the work that you were doing?

We was doing uh, different things you know, they was making. But what I was doing--I told you last uh, last week. Five of us was working on those uh, uh, bullets to drill the hole. And it has to come very, very big bullets like this. And this had to come straight that bullet uh, I mean uh, it has to be real--one was shaping it and the other was making the hole. We was making the hole, and we make it crooked, they beat us, the Germans, very much. I have trouble you know, ringing in the ear for years already. So I think that's it. Always hit me over the head. They never hit you in the back or so, always over the head. And I think this affected me. I asked the doctor and he says, yeah, because he asked me if I was ever hit you know, over my ear. And I say, many times.

He hit you with a stick.

No, with a hand.

With a hand.

With a hand.

But repeatedly.

Repeatedly they hit if you did. And if you make wrong that hole, you was taken away and really roughed up. So we were standing there and measuring so I should come. And if somebody make wrong you couldn't threw away, you couldn't do nothing. You couldn't even hide in your hand because it was too big. So I--once I knew already a Czech guy. I talked to him when I was going to the bathroom, and I talked to him. Not standing and talking, just make conversation in Czech to him. And uh, I told him that I'm afraid from those bullets. And he says "If you have some time and you can bring it here put it down someplace, if you see me around and I see you, I will take it away." So once I hit on the round and I was going, 'cause I had a little coat on me. And uh, I come and he, he's, I told him that I have it. He says, "Put it right behind the door." And whe...when I went out he went and took, took and disposed it. So they didn't, they didn't know.

How long were you working in this factory?

Well, I don't know. We come there in uh, October and it--'til January you know, we was working.

And what would your sister do, the same thing?

The same, uh, she did different things you know, working.

But you were together.

We was together and for twelve hours on our feet standing, without food. And we survived.

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