Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Life in Dora


There were no--nine--twelve hours a day's work, each day from seven 'til seven or the next week from nine 'til nine. There was no food at all during all the time we just got a little food, what they called coffee--a little black, black water whatever it was. You got a, a little soup in the morning and a piece of bread when you got home. And that was very hard work over there. Not only hard work, that was, that camp was designed to kill the people while we were working. That was, that was the purpose of that camp. Because they, they, they could have a pile of bricks as big as a house. When you went home, everybody had to pick up a brick, you know, just to make us tired--to kill you. When you went there, you got to take--you pick up a brick and throw it back on the same pile. And then go in, in that darkness and stay there, and there they built those rockets. They brought us big--like a half a city block. One rocket was, was like--we have to put it on four railroad platforms. They built twenty-four at the time. And we did all kind of works to help build this, like transportation. It's amazing how that was put together. And in order to--and, and there was a lot of political prisoners there, French and Russians. And they did a lot of--do their part that, that, that those things shouldn't work, because it was very complicated and, and, and those prisoners were--participated in every process of, of uh, putting the...


...assembly there together. There were ti...

In other words, you worked next to political prisoners. Jews were placed with political prisoners.

And, and, and that, that story, that is one, one of those uh, uh, interesting things. In Dora there was no difference between Jew, Russian, French. We didn't even have no, no, no, no marking that we were Jewish.

Oh you didn't.

No. Because they knew we won't get out of there. It didn't make no difference to them who it was.

They knew all of you wouldn't...


...get out.

They, they, they, they got a supply. They knew they had from one side they, they, they--that was that kind of set-up, a calculated system. The, the railroad cars bring in people, people die at work, they burn them up in the crematorium, you know.

There was a crematorium at Dora?

Oh yeah. But they didn't kill nobody purposefully. Just people just dropped dead, all the time. They hanged people just all the time to, to, to keep people that they should be afraid to make something wrong, to make sabotage--because that's what they did. They did a lot of sabotage. They was organized groups from French and from Russians, you know, they had different type of people.

The resistance.

Yeah, the resistance. They put in pieces of paper in pipes, very simple. And those pipe, those pipes were as cleanest as veins in, in a human brain, you know. So, but that didn't lasted too long anymore. And we came there in the end of January.

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