Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - September 14, 1995

Cyclone Fence

You mentioned several times that, um, your concern for food, all through Kochendorf, well, the experience, was there, was there other ways that you supplemented your diet, potatoes, whatever?

Yeah. It was, we use to pick up from behind the kitchen. Um, see, the kitchen was, was situated in, about, in the middle of the camp close to the wire fence, cyclone fence. And the guards had the towers on four corners, plus they had the in-between. And whoever worked on the kitchen and the, the, like if they were peeling potatoes, or carrots, or whatever it was, they would throw it out between the cyclone fence and between the building. It may have been, uh, five, six feet wide strip. But, at the end of the two, at the end of the building, there was another cyclone fence too, so you couldn't go behind the building. The only thing what we could do is through the cyclone fence we would reach in, you know, with our hands. And we would pick up, uh, potato peels and whatever food it was thrown out and we would cook it. We would make a little fire and we would, uh, cook the peels, wash it a little bit and then that was a little supplement. And one incident what happened over there, not far from a neighboring little city, actually that today I believe it's on the Rumanian side, but there was one young man, um, and we were both reaching in, and pulling some of that, uh, potatoes or potato peels out and the guard noticed us. Now this depended, again, on the guard. If he wanted, he only chased you away. If he wanted to shot you, he shot you dead, you know. And that young man was shot right next to me. I don't think that he was further than two feet away, you know. He just shot him. When I saw that, and I heard it, I just pulled out and run away. Never again did I go back for, for food over there.

You knew this young man?

Pardon? Yeah, he was, he was one of us, one of the 500, yeah.

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