Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Being Made Foreman of Work Group

You worked twenty-one hours a day, everyday?

I left three o'clock in the morning, it was aufstehen. We came back into that camp--it was twelve o'clock at night. It's unbelievable. That other camp--when I came to that other camp already which was--oh all kinds of peoples. I found a few from my landsmen, you know, from home. And they were already old ones. They knew, you know, the ropes around there and they gave me help--a little bit extra food, this and that. Plus--now this is something to, to take note of--that anybody saw the number, they knew when I came and where I have been. That gave 'em respect, because there so few left with this number. So that didn't let me do any heavy work in the other camp that I came in. They made me foreman of a group to supervise 'em with the work, you know, like the roofing and all that. And then we got already through a little bit easier. First of all you could breathe fresh, breathe fresh air, that's for one thing. And then uh, those uh, people who uh, were on the same commando or the same camp said, "You have respect for him. He's a zib'm zibitsik--he's a seventy-seven, number seventy-seven."

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