Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Medical Care in Camp

What kind of accident?

In the coal mines always accidents. Two trains caught together and I was between it.

Did you...

Those are the little trains, you know, that they carry coals, you know, it is not the big box cars.

Did you get some kind of medical attention?

Yes, yes. But you couldn't have too much medical attention, because if it takes up too much time--there's no field orders there. You can't work--we used to call it, you go on the frying pan if you can't work. But there was one doctor--a Hungarian there. He took care of the surgery without anesthetic. And one night I came back to the camp and I said, "Doctor, I just cannot make it. I cannot walk." This was two kilometers to work--to walk from camp to work, plus maybe another two or three kilometers underground, you know, to go to your place where you have to work. And I said, "I don't care if they send me to the frying pan or not, this is it." So what he did--that he uh, he uh, took me in for two days, let me rest up, and sent me back to work for a day or two. Took me in another two days, sent me back to work. Like I said, I had mazel, nothing else. No ???. There's no such a thing being smart--outsmarted them. No. I had mazel.

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