Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Salvatore and Lili Katan - August 18, 1981

Sabotaging the Germans

SK: And uh, I work over there 'til the end and uh, all of a sudden they come--we hear the Russians they are coming from one side--1945. The Americans are coming from the other side and they grab me, at the last minute they want to take me to Germa...uh, to Berlin. But the, the final, they asked who wants--voluntary--now they don't ask you who wants voluntary, they say, "You, you, you--the strong guys come on over here and take out those machines from the factory because we're going to take you to Germany." And sure enough they catch me too and I work over there with the guards around make crates--wood crates to take the machines. They covered them up and they ship 'em away. And they threw--I was working there with some other guys, and I said for the other guys, "Please look left and right, if the guards they are not watching, I'm going to prepare the crate ready to put the cover on top and nail 'em to ship to Germany. Watch it, if they are not looking over here I take the hammer and I smash everything what I could and then cover 'em up." And that's what I done. A lot of machines are smashed in pieces and I covered up, and I told the German, "Kommandant, the crate is ready to be shipped." They call them sabotage. That's what I done ???. So and they sent it--when I worked there I was built bombs, I was built bombs to knock the airplanes. Even there I used to break every so often the machines. Put them out of order, that way I can't produce too much. And how long you wait for the repairman to come and look and there and there, we were wasting time.

Now how old are you at this...

SK: Now I'm uh, sixty.

No, when--so this was...

SK: That was uh, twenty-two.

LK: Twenty-two.

Uh, you never got caught doing it?

SK: No, thank God.

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