Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982


What kind of food did you receive while you were working in the armament factory?

Oh, we got a piece of--a slice of, a slice of bread every morning. And we got uh, soup at work, and we got soup when we got home. And that, that had to be enough.

Was there plenty of water?

Yeah, was plenty of water, yeah. So from there in January, before the Russians came, the Russians came in, they took us on those trains and they took us into Buchenwald. That was a real concentration camp--an old camp. We came in there...

How long were you on the train?

For about a week.

A week.

Yeah, in the middle of the winter without heat, without water and without anything.

Did the train stop so you could get food, and...

No, come on, practically nothing. You eat snow.

You ate the snow?

Yeah. So we, we, took that...

Did people die on the train?

Oh yeah. The Germans took us out from, from, from the factory, then at some stage SS came on the train, I don't know, and, and, and they took us into Buchenwald. We stayed in Buchenwald. That was a real concentration camp. First of all, there was--it was run by, by German political prisoners at that time. The German Social Democrats--Ger...German Communists who survived all that uh, rough years when they came there in 1933, 1934. And when Hitler be...came to power, and when he liquidated their organizations he put them into concentration camps were built for them at that time. A few of those survivors they were still there, and they were running those camps. They were friendly. I'm not talking about SS, I'm talking about inside in the camp German.



They were friendly.

They were friendly, yeah.

They were also prisoners.

They were also prisoners, yeah. And, uh...

Were you in the same groups with them?

No, no, no. They were--they run--those German prisoners run the camp. They--office work...

They had the positions.

Yeah. Over there you were registered by your name and where you were born and I, I...

You don't have a number?

No. I suspect that those records prevailed over there 'til today. I suspect those records prevailed, because there was a formal registration. We got new clothing, clean clothing and we got bath and showers.

Did you get striped uniforms?

Yeah, striped uniforms. That was a real concentrations camps, not like a labor camp. And we stayed there just a very, very short time. They told us that we going to be transport to work to, to other--they knew we came from the armament factories and they going to open other people's places and--they did, the SS didn't tell us, but those, those other Germans told us.

I see.


The other prisoners.

Yeah. That it is not at that camp, beyond--because there was a crematorium there, but they said they only burn those people who died, but they don't....

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