Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Louis Kaye - May 9, 1983

Life in Skarzysko

Okay, let's... Before we get to that uh, what was your job at the first concentration camp.

I was working ammunition.

You were working ammunition. What exactly did you do?

It's hard to explain what I did. I was working by machine. They used to make like uh, for ammunition. And I was... had permission to take off, shorten material to make a, a measurement, it was a measurement how they make this. Everyone machine was doing something else. And I should... I got to make certain things—you know what I'm talking?


A big factory with maybe a hundred machine. These items were two hundred different machinery. Everybody did something else. And if you make anything what no good, they beat you up and hit you, and everything. Like you do, if you doing sabotage, they took out people and kill him.

What were the conditions like, the living conditions?

Over there? It's hard to explain. For myself, I was not so uh, it was not so bad for, for me because I was ha... work in a certain kind of job and everything. Special importance. Everyday you go to work... It's, it's hard. See, you're going back forty years. You go back more, you're going back forty years, know what I mean?

Did you have enough to eat?

No. They gave you so much to eat, they give you like a piece of bread to eat and they give you this, a soup. And then you get the water. The bottom left over for the guys giving you the soup. They don't mix. No. They never... Your, your own people.

What do you mean?

Your own people, your own people.

Explain that.

Uh? What do you mean explain? Your own people. The... See, this guy's a Kapo, or either something like this and he serve you the soup, he makes sure he gives you the top and the bottom of it he eat for himself. No, it just people selfish. You know what I'm talking?

I'm asking you for the tape.

I'm telling you. See, see if a, a Kapo is, is working with you, he serve you soup and he give everybody a specific sip and he mix 'em up we got the same thing. Soup, he took out from the top, you got the water. The left over, he took it. Then one brother and other brother sometime over there don't help each other. People were so selfish. I don't know how we lived through to be honest.

Did you have enough clothing?


For the tape.

No, I have no, no clothes.

What did you wear?

I have no shoes, no nothing. I walk on with paper. No clothes. We had a pair of pants, nothing.

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