Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Fate of Cousin

What happened to your cousin...

My cousin, in that eh, camp, eh, uh...

...that died?

In Sachsenhausen, he got, a--what you call it ???, some...something grew out of his face here--a boil, which was, it was quite--we call it ???, I don't know what it's called. So he went to the assistant. Every barrack, had this--a German manager, and an assistant. The assistant was also responsible for first aid. So my cousin went to him for first aid. What could he do with first aid? He took a razor blade and cut it off, and put some yo...eh, iodine on it. My cousin got a eh, blood infection, and after a day or two, was taken to the dormitory--there was a dormitory--and after a few days he passed away. That's that then.

This is 1945 already...

Yes. That was, eh...

Almost the end of the war...

Beginning of '45.

Sachsenhausen was a huge, huge camp.

Oh yes, very huge camp, yes. And we uh, we got one barrack--we were in one barrack, the 300 of us. And eh, there again, there was eh, no work, but a lot of um, lot of time standing in, in lines outside, and being checked and re-checked, and being counted and re-counted.

Kind of...


??? Yeah. You said you spoke Yiddish to the--did you speak Yiddish at home...


...or did you speak Polish?

I knew Polish, but we spoke Yiddish at home, yeah.

And in the camps you spoke Yiddish?

Yes. Between us, we always spoke Yiddish, of course.

You were in Sachsenhausen for--you said you went to Sachsenhausen--was it September 1944?

I think we arrived in October already--no, September. We were four or five weeks, a few days digging, then we came to Sachsenhausen. Yeah, we were there by the end of September. I think beginning of October we went, we were in Sachsenhausen.

And the deportations from the ghetto were September 1942?

Eh, yes, 1942.

Okay. Just, just after Treblinka opened.


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