Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Conditions in Skarżysko-Kamienna

And in those camps, there was enough food, you know, it was food like for pigs, but it was enough. First of all the Polacks didn't take that, that, that their food what they gave 'em. So some of 'em would gave it away to us. And nobody could starve from hunger in those--in, in, in that camp. And, and we worked three shifts eight hours a day.

Where, where did you sleep?

We sleep in barracks.

Within the factory?

No, no, across the street was a camp. The camp consisted from barracks.

Oh. About how many people?

Oh there were a lot of people there--a few thousand people.

And how were you treated by the Polish civilians?

We didn't have more contact with them than at work, you know. Usually in Poland, the working class Polacks were not anti-Semitic, you know. The anti-Semitic Polacks were either the higher class Polacks or the very low class Polacks were anti-Semitic. Or the merchant class Polacks. At work, you could, you could get a long with the Polack who worked in a factory all the time, even before the war too. He had a different kind of mentality. So we didn't--they, they didn't give us no hard time. And we stayed there just few months, that was already in 1944. And we stayed there from January 'til August. And that...

January until August. You were there eight months.

Yeah--not in January, no. From March, March....

From March.

...in March until August--a few months we stayed there. And at that time they were losing the war on the Eastern Front--the Germans. We already saw Germans coming back like the Polacks run in 194...1939. No shave, no--they looked just like pigs already. So in August, the, the Russians made an offensive on the Eastern Front and they took half Poland. Maybe--I don't know how much, you know about those things from the Eastern...


...in the war in, in, in that time. And they, and, and they were afraid that the Russians are going to come there.

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