Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Salvatore and Lili Katan - August 18, 1981

Medical Experiments in Auschwitz II

SK: So another doctor comes and he check and he put a piece of steel in--some tools and hears some--sounds like bone and they took the scissors--not the scissors, the clippers and they search in and they took a piece of bone. And as a matter of fact, I have this bone up to not--a couple years ago, we lost it when we moved. I say, "It's supposed to be there? Says, "No," says, "I don't know why they put this bone there." They're going to experiment with me. So anyway, thank God, after the doctor took out the bone...

LK: After a month...

SK: After a month...

LK: ...when you came out you were okay.

SK: ...I was hopping a little bit. They give me relief.

Now after they did this experiment, you were in the hospital for awhile or did they put you right back to work?

LK: No, no, no...

SK: No, no...

No, in the camp, I mean.

LK: In the camp, in the camp...

SK: In the camp, yeah, in the camp.

Right back to work?

SK: In the camp, right back to work, sure.

Well, do you--were there any other kinds of horrible experiences you can...

SK: Yeah, and then they give me shots like they give you shots here the doctor for you know polio for this and they give me a shot here.

LK: Also for experiment.

SK: All for experiment and there was inflammation. The arm was three times big.

You didn't know what it was.

SK: No.

Better not to know.

SK: But then it got even biggest, like a moon.

What kinds of--you had any special duties that you were--you just worked in the factory so you avoided that...

SK: Worked in the factory. First I was working with canalization and then from there they took me--they put me in the factory because when I put my application and I put on mechanic and mechanic you could--we needed people in the factory.

So that saved your life.

SK: That saved me, that saved me a little bit my life because I was working in the cold, in the snow and the muds and everything else.

Do you remember what kinds of...

SK: Then--oh before there, I forget to say, then I was pulling, not just myself, a bunch of prisoners who were pulling the big well to straight up the roads, you know, a big iron steel wheel that we were pulling and the ones that can't pulling, they used to, you know, they used to knock you to death, the Germans because they say, "Come on ??? come on ???" And if he can't pull, he'll fall down and they stick you on top.

[interruption in interview]

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn