Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mrs. Roemerfeld - 1982?

Conditions in Maehrisch-Weisswasser

Well, you arrived in the first part of 1945 to Maehrisch-Weisswasser.

Yes, the end of '4...'44.

How were the living conditions different there than what you had witnessed in Birkenau?

They were just as bad, but, uh...

You slept...

...they had a kitchen.

You slept in the same...

Same bunk, yeah.

In the same toilet facilities.

Yes, yes, outside. Yes. And uh, I remember Miya picking out from the gutters from the kitchen from the Germans uh, potato peels and eating it raw. Dirty. And uh, it uh, we were terribly hungry there. As a matter of fact, sometimes we thought it was even worse than uh, Birkenau because it wasn't as organized. But they did have a kitchen. So whoever had a little bit to give something to the kitchen who--to the women who worked in the kitchen got a little bit soup. But it wasn't much to speak of, it was just water and some potato peels.

Where did you get the leather gloves to get her?

Well, that's what I was getting uh, to it. When we um, uh, eh, stopped working at the Red Käppchen I had the gloves in my hand. And I said, well this I'm going to take. I didn't care anymore if I die, if they catch me. And this I took with me.

Where did you put them?

I just put them uh, in, in, into my uh, I had a string, no belt uh, like a string. And I put them in, into me. And uh, uh, my cousin that worked in the White Käppchen came to me and she says, "You keep them, you going to need it." The same cousin who told me, so if you'll die, it doesn't matter because so many die. So the human mind really uh, fluctuated very much so. So not one person can judge another at that time because it was under those horrible circumstances. It's only those people who really did the killing and the horrible beating that I resent. And when I hear of a Kapo, that's when I really resent. And uh, from what I hear, which I don't want to be on the record...

Do you remember any names besides this um, Olga or any heads, the Wehrmacht or SS? Do you remember any of their names in any of the camps?

I can't recall.

[interruption in interview]

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