Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Pasternak - May 11, 1982

Resistance in Camp

Was there underground in the camp?

No. There couldn't have been any underground in the camp. First of all, what kind of an underground could it be in the camp? I know for sure that in Schlieben there was no underground because we were kept tight, we were guarded by electric wire. We wor...we worked twelve hours a day. We were in the forest. Do you wanna hear something irony? The most ironic thing you'll ever hear about it. I worked, as I told you, in the Gießerei, and once in a while they changed you around. Because sometimes when you have to put together, I mean the, the uh, the...not the ignition the uh, the parts together from the, from the Panzerfaust you know, the missile...not the missile itself, the weapon...the bazooka itself, you have to pack it into crates. There was one guy by the name of Milstein...I'll never forget him...and across the table from him there was working, this was a woman. A German shiksa. Uh, and they were eyeing each other, and she used to feed him and I found out afterwards that they got married...during...after the war. She took care of him. He was somehow a Kapo...a foreman...but he wasn't bad. He behaved himself, he wasn't bad. And there was another foreman...whoever you are, if you're still alive, I must say this: I used to try and...go to the kitchen and steal a few potatoes and he used to look away. He said, "??? ganvenen ??? groys ???" You know, there were still...and there was still a couple of guys...there was one tall guy and one little guy...that son of a bitch! He used to beat us "Aroys, aroys ??? Yidden."


Kapos. A tall and a youngster. They were uh, they, they beat us. They used to hit us. And they told him, they says to him, "Listen, brother, when you get out of the war this over here you'd better get out of here because you, you not going to live it." I'll tell you something: I remember one time in Buchenwald since I'm talking about it, you know, back and forth. In Buchenwald there was a, a group from Częstochowa arrived...

[interruption in interview]

...and uh, and it was a couple of Yidden who were not very nice...who were Kapos and they were nasty. I understood they took care of them in Buchenwald.

The other prisoners?

The other pri...the Yidden, yes. Now as far as surviving is concerned, it was a matter of luck...truly it was a matter of luck. Look there is uh, the, the youngsters...some...even youngsters have survived...young kids. I was lucky. I know one...while I was still in Buchenwald I met a kid from my hometown...a young man. You know, isn't it funny, I dreamt about him last night. Isn't it funny?

[interruption in interview]

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