Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edward Linson - November 10, 1981

Life in Monowitz

Did you live in Monowitz, was there--you lived in the camp at Monowitz.

Yes, yes, I was stationed at Monowitz and we had been working. So this Primo Levi he was, he was saying--you will read the book, you will know. You probably read this already. So I was very healthy and very strong. So when come the, the train to unload the ??? so I could take three, three sacks. I was very healthy. I could take the sacks on my back. So he didn't like it. He thought I, I will show off. The son of a bitch he didn't know it that I was uh, saving him. Because the other guys they would uh, give us uh, hell. And I knew--I was a little bit more years in the, in the camps already than him, but he didn't realize this. So he got a head to, to write. So I got a head to write too if I want. As a matter of fact I will write a book.

Well what was a day like at Monowitz? You, if, if...

A day like in Monowitz?

In the morning you would...

In the morning you get up, they throw you out from bed and you got to make this uh, bed. The first you got to make this bed. This bed got to be so straight you wouldn't believe it. Perfect. If is not perfect, the Blockältester--this mean the guy who was a inside--he was also a--he also was a what you call 'em, a prisoner for--just he was German. So he give you some time over the head or probably he knock you down. So we were standing Appell. This bed was finished so they brought a kettle with coffee. The coffee was from uh, from the--I don't know Linden tea or something like this--from the trees--acorn--and we got this. So everybody was so hungry. Everybody like to have this from, from the bark. No kidding. And they took us to a different work. Now what I mention, I went through this uh, examination. I went over there and I got a little bit easier. Just with one exception. When the train come to unload--the boxcar--we got to do it. Otherwise we could uh, a little bit uh, at least sit down for a second. And this was very awful.

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