Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Nothman - November 30, 1982

Harassment by SS

And uh, I do remember once, the--two German SS came in. They took us--army and they took--and took two Jewish, two Jewish older passenger--sixty-five, seventy--and told them, "Eat." And I understood because when you--when Jewish and German is very close, so I understood. So I could understand, so I said, "Give me that," and we stood, "Give me that, I will eat it." And here's--"Hey I'm a Jew, I will eat it." He said, "No. I want him to eat." He wouldn't eat. That poor Jewish passenger, he would not eat, he wouldn't touch it, and he said, "No." And they, they hit him, they hit him. They cut that beard out and he stood and done nothing. So they let him go. On some occasion, you know, the SS went into a rich, rich building where they got the Jews. They had--maybe somebody told them where to go and probably Polish people told them that there are rich people there. For diamonds, watches already. Already we cannot have it. Right away we're supposed to take the radio and give it away. Only uh, only uh, German authority--they will a radio--they will take the radio away because we can't listen to it. Some, some have it already, or some listened to it. Not everybody gave away, but I would say most of the people give. So they went to the rich people and they took the furs and took the silver and, you know, and beat them. And that was one thing that every German walk on the street in Kraków. If I walk I'm supposed to go out of the street, say "Good morning Mein Herr," I mean, good morning. And take my hat off. No difference. If not, he can come and slap me, you know, and kick me and uh, that's the law. That was--that law was for them. That nobody, but nobody, would ever stop and tell them, "Why you doing that or this?" They had, there was no law to hit a Jew. It was it. One thing, hit 'em, like you want to kill 'em. And there was nothing--nobody would ever cry or nobody would ever said something. Even some Poles--"Jew, Jude, Jude, Jude," uh, you know, pointed, you know. Another times on me, but before they want to catch me I went already on--I was already 100 feet away. So we went to work. I remember in Kraków they took doctors and lawyers. It doesn't mean nothing, they put everybody who they catch and we work in Kraków in the, in the center of Kraków--Sukiennice--center of Kraków. And when we work there, I saw the German, they took the ???--he was a king--and they took a lot of statue from bronze. They took--eliminated everything. They took everything. We work, we clean everything. We saw how, how they take everything apart and, and they, they kick and they beat, beat us. But we still didn't give up. We still, you know, survive. And uh, when they coming into our uh, to, to make a, like a, you know, catch 200 or 100 people--so we hide.

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