Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982

Life in Labor Camp

But you did have guards though, didn't you?

Not for the first couple of months, we didn't have guards, no. Just was the Jewish policemen.

That's all who over...

That's all, just uh, had the German foreman, the German foreman and the German manager, that was all there was to it. They even paid us for the first month or two months. We couldn't buy nothing but whatever we had they made it so nice that you didn't even know what was happening. And then uh, about two or three months later, you know, like we said on a blue Monday they all came. The Gestapo showed up, the Ukrainian guards--they brought in Ukrainian guards. You could never find Germans guards, only Ukrainians. And ??? what they called they sealed up the camp. And the same thing the next day, they always assembled the Jews--whatever--all they killings they did they always assembled the Jews. They called out the whole camp on the roll call and the next thing you knew they picked out--they has us lined up--they picked, "You, you, you, you," and the next thing you're up on the gallow. I mean, that was it.

Just arbitrarily?

Arbitrarily and you called--you had to watch it, if you didn't watch it, you were the next guy up there. So at that time we started--we began to, to see what's happening but we had no idea that they could just come up with mass scale murder. One day somebody escaped, we didn't even know about it and the Gestapo came, came up to the, to the work place and they picked out two guys and they said they were related to the one that escaped and they shot them--they pulled out this pistol and shot them right in front of everybody. We always had to assemble--whenever they killed somebody we always had to assemble.

Mm-hm, to watch.

We always had to watch. And uh, at the same time, summer, we got word that they took the rest of the families that we left behind and took them away ??? '42 and I got to camp that was the last I seen my family.

Uh-huh, but you didn't know where they went--you had no idea where your fa...

No, we had no idea.

You thought maybe they were in another camp?

I had a, I had a girlfriend that I left behind and she wrote me a card that my family already--they already took the familes away and somehow she was, she was sure that their going to take her away too. That was all in 1942. Everything in summ...in the summer time.

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