Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Saul Raimi - July 7, 1982

Illness and Death

I did--I believe, I believe that uh, it's a funny thing when you age, you know, you forget so many things, you know, after all that was--that forty years. It's almost a half a lifetime. But I can see it, for one I can see it that whole camp and everything and from the minute I walked into that camp and uh, every day was a tragedy. Every minute--actually every hour, every minute of the day was a tragedy by itself, just being in that camp. Just living in those terrible conditions, living with that smell of death which was spreading for, for, for miles and miles, you know that sweet uh, lotion, the smell of those bodies day and night from the uh, crematoriums, from... And uh, well of course, you probably heard about that Cell Eleven that famous block where they tortured people, you know...


Well, we knew what's going--you couldn't see it actually from the outside. That was--you know, you walk by and you actually hear that. And at the same time, you know, they made so many experiments on the woman and man, you know, but while you were in that camp, you knew it's going on but you didn't know exactly where it's going on. When I came in the hos... Remember I, I told you I stayed in the hospital for about two, three days.


Everyone from--as soon as you can get out, even if you still sick, get out of here because if you stayed uh, actually when you went to the hospital you were--you didn't produce for the Reich, so you were a useless--you didn't--you were loser, useless, I mean, you didn't produce, so why keep you?


They would come in sometimes and take the whole hospital and clean 'em up. It doesn't--it didn't make a difference if you came there for trea... treating a cut, which you never went actually in the first place. You went in the hospital if you could actually, you couldn't walk anymore, you were so sick. So, they send you to the Krankenbau So, they would take every few days, clean out the whole hospital because they, they had more than enough patients. Among those patients, they would take out a lot of them for experiments.


So uh, I came in and I happened there was a German Jewish doctor and he told me, "You're a young man, you're still lucky," he said to me, "Get out even you still can because you won't last here another." In fact as soon I got out, they clean out the whole hospital, took everybody into the gas chamber.

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