Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mrs. Roemerfeld - 1982?

Jewish Police

Did they act as police?

Yes. And...

What about the Jewish police?

...they were not very nice. They were not very nice. And on the telephone the other day you told me that uh, as you can understand, that uh, in Auschwitz uh, the people uh, kept together because I really got sick and they were hiding me from the Germans. That wasn't necessarily so. In my case, I was just plain lucky. But most of the people everywhere, that I can recall, were very selfish.

In the ghetto.

In the ghetto. Also in Auschwitz.

So there was the German police and the Jewish police.

Yes. The Germans only came out when it was ready made. Uh, we were already lined up uh, by the Jewish police, by the ??? whatever. And they came out and they did whatever they wanted. They could take out, not even on a Sunday, any day of the uh, week, and take people out and shoot them for no reason, because they got a kick out of that.

Was there brutality from the Jewish police also?


Can you describe some of that?

Well, I can't describe in details, but I can only tell you that I--well what I heard you know, as a little girl, that the Jewish policeman were even sometimes worse than the Germans because uh, they could uh, escape show...showing uh, pe...the Germans where those people are hiding. But yet, they came out in force and pulled the Jews out and wanted to show the Germans that they are being devoted to the Germans. So there were such things as Kapos even in the ghetto.

In the ghetto.

Right. They had them in Auschwitz, but yet I remember we had them in the ghetto too.

Were they called Kapos at that time?

Oh yes, oh yes. Because my mother was very bitter you know, for my father's uh, cousin that he couldn't do a little bit more and leave my, leave my father at home at the time instead of let them--as a matter of fact, he uh, actually pointed a finger, you know. You have to come out. So uh, there was no such thing as uh, going through a cousin or a sister or brother. It was just a matter of, you know, it's me versus you.

He pointed the finger that he has to come out of the line or out of the house.

Out of the house, yeah.

And then you proceeded to stand in line.

Oh yeah. Well, actually my father was like under arrest, you know. At that time, it was called arrest yet it wa...they defined it, you know. And uh, it was just a matter that they needed this amount of people. So they first took the people who were under suspicion of sabotage, which it was crazy. It was no sabotage because it was--it's an American firm, Palmolive. But yet the Germans said it was uh, sabotage for a Jew to buy from a German firm uh, groceries or they mentioned in his certificate, it was the soap, Palmolive soap. So.

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