Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Kahan - April 29, 1982

Transport to Mühldorf

Again a cattle train.

Again a cattle train. And um, I think we traveled about four, five or six days. The, the loaf of bread was supposed to last you for the trip. And then we arrived to Mühldorf, Mühldorf uh, in Bavaria, approximately uh, uh, thirty, thirty-five miles from Munich.

And what was it like there?

Well, there my, my number that I got in Auschwitz was 83,226. I didn't get a tattoo, but I did get a number. When we arrived the camp was fairly new. Uh, previous uh, slave laborers, previous Jews who came from uh, uh, other parts of Hungary uh, have built and from, poss...possibly from other countries uh, Jews from other countries, the camp was already built, barracks. They were fairly new. And then we arrived. They put us into the barracks uh, and they assigned the bunk beds to us and we were there about three days and they assigned us to labor battalions. The German uh, government has decided to build a huge underground airplane factory in Mühldorf, because of all the bombings, you know, that the surface factories were being destroyed. So immediately uh, they, we marched out, it's what's called a Hofbaustelle in German. Uh, we marched out every day uh, to that camp. We started out by clearing the woods for this factory. This was our first job. We were sawing by hand huge timbers, trees, sawing 'em down and then carrying them, these, these uh, huge trees to a certain place. And then uh, the Germans with trucks, they took 'em out and used 'em for lumber in the lumber mills. And uh, to answer your question, we used to uh, get up in the morning--I don't recall the exact time, but I think around uh, six o'clock. Uh, we were counted, it was called the Appell. We were given uh, sort of black water. It was supposed, supposed to be coffee, but it was made from chicory and um, then we marched out to our camp, to our labor camp. As far as I can remember, approximately an hour. We got there and then we started to work. Of course uh, that's when the real problem started, because this is the first time that actually besides getting such meager food rations we had to do any hard physical labor. And uh, a lot of the people just were too weak to do it and uh, after uh, a few weeks or a month or two they started to fall and, and, and uh, from the hard labor. They just couldn't do it and then they started to die.

We were these SS men who were directing you?

Uh, no. The people who were directing us were the Organization Todt, the German labor organization, T-o-d-t. They used to have a, a, a band on their arms with a, that Hitler cross and it used to say uh, Organization Todt. It was a labor battalion. They were in charge of the Third Reich construction department. The, the guards were the uh, Germans.

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