Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Differences between the Wehrmacht and the SS

Were there any differences between the Wehrmacht guard and the SS?

Oh yeah, there were...

Can you describe the difference?

Well, Wehrmacht actually was not SS. They were regular soldiers in the army. Well, they were in a way helpful. Not uh, I wouldn't say--they looked the other s...the other way. While the SS tried to torture us and uh, or beat us and will destroy us. The Wehrmacht actually were help. When, when we went--as I said before, when we went from Buchenwald to this city Weimar to work--they were watching us--the Wehrmacht. They uh, they were actually helpful. They brought, they brought--we found--one day we found potatoes--raw potatoes. So he actually went out to find us, find us a, mm, a, a bucket to, to, to bake--to, to cook in it, because we didn't have anything--nothing to...


...so we found a bucket, but this was a hole in it. So we couldn't put in water. So he said, "Well, I, I, I know what to do." He put in some sand. So he actually did himself--he put in some sand in, in the bucket and then potatoes in it and put this on fire so to bake the baked potatoes. He showed a little human, human feelings. Well, they were also, they were also forced to do their duty, I mean...


...they were all in the army. But I don't know if they, they liked, liked us as Jews, but still they were not SS.

Describe the SS.

The SS were rough. They were murderers. One word: murderers. If they--they only tried to destroy us and to kill us. That's the only way I can describe the SS.

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