Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Description of Camp Hospitals and Food

There was--was there any medicine available in the camp?

Well, it was available. Yeah, you had to, you had to, you had to forgo your, your, your daily soup if you want to go to the, to the, the--how you call it--the, the clinic. Prisoners of, I mean pe...our people were doctors. Some, some doctors were working there after work. And uh, well, they give us some treatment, some ointment or some, ban...ban...bandages or something. I remember I had some, from those wooden shoes--I, I was given wooden shoes--and there were with nails in it and, and I got--and my, my arm--my right foot--I had uh, from that nail--a, a rusted nail got into my foot and my foot swelled like this. And I had to--how do you call this? No, it was uh, gangrene. So naturally, I couldn't, I couldn't work anymore. I, I had a limp. On my one foot I had to go back from work. And stay from work I had to go to this clinic there. So they cut it open without any anesthesia any, anything they cut open like this and they cleaned out the, the gangrene and they bandage it. And this was hell. Without any, any--this was the only help I, I could get, so I had to forgo my daily soup. I couldn't be in two places at the same time. So I rested 2 days. This was life.

What did the soup consist of?


What was--the soup consist of?

Soup? Okay. Cabbage pieces--strips of cabbage and uh, that's all. Thick water--a little thick water with cabbage strips.

One time a day?

One time a day, that's all we got.

Any bread?

And one slice of bread.

Fresh, green, stale?

Stale. Most of the time it was stale. Most of the time it was stale. Yeah it was nothing to speak of. It was the only, the only food we got. In the morning we got uh, black coffee, hot coffee. It was not coffee, it was chicory, chicory. Made from chicory it was like, like, like coffee--like hot water, chicory. That's what we got.

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