Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Transfer to Coal Mine Sub-camp

Yeah, Mr. Kalmas was just showing me the number on his arm. What is the number there?

It's seven-seven-three-four-seven. And he had three-four-eight, behind me, all right. So we were in Auschwitz for one night. Next day different eintreten. Was--what's the matter now--they selected strong men for another camp. See, Auschwitz was the main and the surrounding had all kinds of camps. Every ten kilometer was a, a, a different camp. Strong men for a camp that does the coal mining. So at this point I was separated from my brother. I was the strong one. And that's it. I was a coal miner from 1942 'til 1944. Around October '44, I believe--either September or October--when the bombardments came a little bit more frequent, you know, than--and they da...damaged another camp site. They damaged the roofs, the gutters, you know, and all that--the other machinery. They had a big plant--that's with the uh, IG Farben Industry. Maybe you heard of them, I don't know, but IG Farben Industry they called it. And they produced from the coal--they made all kinds of fuel. Grease, fuel, medicine, what have you, out of the coal. So I was transferred out of the coal mine as a, as a skilled worker. So I was transferred out of the coal mine into that camp. That was for the first time that I saw daylight. I worked twenty-one hours a day in the coal mine. Three hours of sleep.

For how long?

From '42 'til '44.

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