Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982

Holidays in Concentrations Camps

Let me ask you a question. Did you--I know I've heard from other survivors and even who were in Auschwitz or camps, they made attempts to celebrate when the holiday came up. They knew that it was a holiday, they smuggled a piece of matzo and things like that. Do you remember experiencing that or observing that, or people...

I was in once in, in Gleiwitz I because--I, I didn't--I will tell you the truth that by us was in the--in concentration we didn't know what, what the day is and what the night is, which months and which year. It was like animals in concen...in Gleiwitz. And I remember one time in Gleiwitz that a, a man came and he said, "It's going to be Yom Kippur.' And I said, "We have everyday Yom Kippur. We didn't have to eat.' And he said and he start to daven. And, and this I remember one time one man came and ??? something he didn't know when it's Monday and when it's Tuesday. We know that Sunday I was working in Gleiwitz. This was already a day of rest that they come in five o'clock in the morning and wake us up and we went to go to, to take everybody we had to take a stone. This was a day--a good day of rest to--so if you took a, a small stone was no good because they said, "You're lazy, you don't want to take a big stone.' A big stone you couldn't carry because it was not strong enough. So that was the day and how many times we were walking you see people just dying with the stone in their hand. So.

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