Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Paul Molnar - July 24, 2002

Conditions in Magdeburg II

Do you remember what, what you thought about, if anything? Did you wonder why this was all happening?

Well, I, I think that I uh, I really felt because that, this was happening because there was so much hatred. These people hated us so much that uh, they did not consider us-we're, we're worse than hu.than uh, an animal. I mean, we're nothing to them. No. You, you ask me did I understand it, no, I did not understand it. I could not uh, understand how people can be like that, but I could see they were. I mean, I saw 'em uh, beat people to death for nothing but, but you went by a German guard you had to uh, uh, take your cap off and if you forgot to take your cap off they beat the daylights out of you uh.

Was it this Mützen, Mützen off, Mützen on, Mützen off?

Yes, yes, yes. They just was-it was, I mean, they didn't-let me say this, they did not have a, they didn't need a reason. They didn't have to give a reason because we were, as I said, we were, we were, we were not human beings, so therefore you could do anything with us. What was to me more disturbing that- than that because I knew about these, I mean I saw 'em everyday, I knew. But these were monsters. These were not human beings. I mean their cruelty is something you don't understand. What really disturbed me was that, as I said, we walked four miles everyday to work and four miles back. And the area we went to and the area we were it was a part of town where the workers lived. Not-it wasn't a wealthy area. You know, you can tell an area and especially in Europe, it's-they have sections like that where it's all workers, buildings, they were like three, four story apartment buildings. And in the morning when we went to work it was awful early so it was dark or semi-dark. When we came back in the evening [pause] and we were marching back and we were beaten while we're walking back and we were carrying the dead and we, we looked and we must have looked horrible. There were people looking out the windows and just looking at us like, look, like, like cattle. And I didn't see anybody whose-who that I could ev...who I could even say that they were looking at me sympathetically or had some sorrow for me.

Nobody threw any food or anything.

No, no, they just looked at us, like look at that's what-I mean, I understood. But these were ordinary people, these were not, these were not concentration camp guards. These were workers, these were ordinary working people, men, women and children. They looked at us like, look at these strange creature, creatures, you know, we were moved like cattle. Nothing, nothing. I never had one thing given to me by any German civilian in Magdeburg, never that I can remember. Now maybe they were afraid to you know, to. So we really did not work for them. As I said, they were skilled carpenters you know, so on. They, they really didn't work with us but. They acted like we didn't even exist. I mean, they looked right through us.

Do you know if there was every any sexual abuse?

Uh, yeah there was, but not in, not in Magdeburg. In Buchenwald there was in these big

By guards or by other prisoners?

No, no, by other prisoners. See uh, we were not well fed, well fed enough or strong enough to really think about sex. But, but it did happen to me in Buchenwald later. Uh, I don't know how much time you have, I don't want to.

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