Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Marvin Kozlowski - August 28, 2002

Conditions in Camp

Were you living in barracks at this point?

Oh yeah, barracks.

What were the barracks like?

Terrible, terrible. Why did you ask a good question. First of all you were supposed to have three...

Three tiers?

bunk beds. I was lucky to sleep on top. I know, I was little. They wanted to crawl me up. There was supposed to be straw. There were a few straws. Nighttime the fleas could eat you up alive. Daytime if you had to go the bathroom, to the toilet, it was outside, like let's say a few hundred feet long, because it was a, a lot of people. Uh, toilet seats across. No, not open, just...


Holes. The rats were walking around like you know, you wouldn't believe in your life. We got used to the life, lived like the dogs and we didn't know. All we cared, can we have a little bit extra food? We knew it we wouldn't survive tomorrow anyway. Thank God, the war broke out, we were feeling a little bit better.

Wife: The war broke out?

Against Russia and Germany. And then, the Germans said uh, those liars you know, they were all heroes. Everybody was thinking what he's going to be doing. One was going to be this and one was going to be that. They started to say a few words--never, but they never had much conversation with us. They would like to be exchange. They should be our Häftlinge--prisoners and we should go there to Stalingrad, which a lot of 'em, you know how they ended up. Our hometown became like a private hospital for them. They uh, took in all the buildings wherever you know, everything was theirs, whatever they want to. And they brought some people to different cities. Frozen arms, frozen brains, frozen legs, you wouldn't believe it. We didn't--we knew what was going on, but we didn't see them personally.

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