Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

John Mandel - May 26, 1981

Religoius Practices in Camp

Were you able to keep track of time?

Time didn't mean anything. It was totally meaningless. Um, we would know uh, in, in, in Auschwitz we would know when, when uh, the days because we wouldn't work on Sunday. We would work six days. So we would always know when, when uh, we would always look forward to Sunday. But later on, particularly in the last camp, we no longer worked. Uh, we were, we were too weak. We were just left there, they, they were just leaving us alone because we were dying. And at that point time, I lost track of time at that point. I had no idea what day it was and I didn't care what day it was.

Do you recall any religious activity?

Yes, I do. At beginning there were some people that still practiced and, and would pray by memory. And uh, as a matter of fact, when we first got there you know, uh, it was, it was a couple days before Shevuoth.


And at that time uh, uh, we uh, all of us you know, more or less made a religious service when, when nobody was watching. But as time went on we didn't bother with it anymore.

When they were bombing, did you have anything at that point?

When they were what?

You said at one point that they were bombing Auschwitz.


Did you have any prayers or see anybody praying at that point?

I didn't.

That's what I'm asking you.

No, I didn't.

Okay. Was there any cultural activity?


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