Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Life and Work in Bruntál

We didn't know it, we, we, we, we didn't know it, we didn't know, we didn't know nothing, but that they took us to South Czechoslovakia, to a factory, Jewish-owned factory.

Still Jewish-owned?


No. German was it?


Do you remember the name of the factory?

It was in Bruntál, and um, I don't remember the name of the factory.

What, what kind of factory was it?

Big, huge factory where they were making um, they were even weaving, they were making tablecloths and stuff, but all this was converted, they were making SS uniforms. And this place was built over a hill where there was, far away from, from the town, from the townspeople, surrounded by SS completely.

What was the town, you know?


The name of the camp was the same as the town?

Yeah. And uh, we were completely surrounded with SS, they had a, they had an office there, the SS, and every morning they marched us to work.

Were, were there barracks again?

Barracks again.

Same kinds of beds?

Except we got a straw mattress, which was already an improvement. Food, very little, once in the morning, we went hungry to work every day.

What did they give you in the morning?

In the morning, we got a piece of bread for uh, twenty-four hours and, and a soup again, some kind of a soup, they always had, a soup. And they took us to these factories and lined up the girls to work by the machines, and uh, I was tending, they taught me how to cut.

Material, you mean?

With that machine, that I never even seen in my life and uh, they had that pattern, okay, and the girls lined up every one of them by the machines, one was doing the sleeve, the other was doing the neck and third one was doing-and they marched us. And German women were working with us who were also SS women, and they reported everyday what we did and who did what um, by then you have to remember, our hair grew a little and uh, the girls were beginning to look a little more normal. And uh, so I decided one morning that I don't want to work, and I went to the bathroom and I sat there, there was a bathroom and a mirror and I sat there looking at myself in the mirror and this German woman reported me next day because they lined me up in the yard and cut my hair off again.

In front of all the women?

In front of everybody. If they do it, that's what's going to happen to them again or they'll send you back to Auschwitz

Were there punishments at Bruntál like there were at Auschwitz? Did people get beaten a lot, were there hangings?

Um, there were always, people were more or less staying out of their way, the girls, okay, not to make too much waves, everybody was scared whatever, and so, and we all had this one dress for the day and for the night, so in order to, I used to take it off at night and wash it, and hopefully if it dried 'til morning, I put on the same thing.

You had other clothes?



Just one.

Underwear? Had you gotten underwear by now?

We found some shmattes and we made ourselves something.

So you were working in there for what three months, two months?

No, we working there six months, six or seven months.

Until the end of the war?

'Til the last end of the war.

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