Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982

Work in Labor Camp

And then they sealed off the camp and got stricter--the laws became strict. You had to watch your step because there wasn't much food. If a guy got drunk--if any of the German guys that didn't have to be military men, just a fr...foreman--in my case, I had a German foreman or the German was the supervisor, we had a Polish foreman. We had beautiful clothes, full of holes--it was all air conditioned. So, I told my foreman that I'm not going to be back in the afternoon. I happened to be a good slave--a good worker so he said, "Okay, you don't have to worry about it." Within an hour, the supervisor comes in--the German guy with the Ukrainian guards start looking for me. And I didn't think he had in mind to kill me and he grabs the guard--the Ukrainian guard, he hollers at him to shoot me. So, our camp was in the fields. It was in the summer time, corn was high and I saw that he meant business, I ran away and I hid in the corn for overnight. but the next morning I went back to work and the g...guy came over to me--he was sober--he said, "You were lucky that I didn't shoot you yesterday."

He remembered, uh-huh.

"You were lucky that I didn't shoot you--that I didn't caught you."

You didn't have any value for him.

No, Jewish life didn't mean nothing. And we were in this camp probably only about a year. At least every Sunday we went to Krakow--they took us on a truck to Krakow--it was about--this is uh, five miles, so every Sunday they took us to Krakow and they gave us a free bath. They took us to the ghetto in Krakow. Krakow was already a ghetto.

I see.

So we had a bath every Sunday and we went begging. When we, we--they gave us a couple of hours after the bath, we went begging for food, for clothing, whatever we could. Whether you were poor or rich, everybody was in camp--the same one. Everybody was looking for a piece of bread. So, for about a year and then see, they closed up our camp. Excuse me.


[interruption in interview]

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