Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Life in Skarżysko

What did they tell you uh, you were going to be doing there?

Nothing, they didn't say nothing. The, the--we were like--this time we were already--in this Skarżysko, we're talking about Auschwitz so many Jews got killed and in Bergen-Belson so many Jews got killed. Nobody mention about Skarżysko. In Skarżysko--swallowed hundred of thousands of Jews. There was uh, three camps, A, B, C. It was A--I was working in making those shells for, for the--for canons. I was working very hard. Who is a survivor from Skarżysko and he finds out--hears that I work for the Granaten across from the bathhouse. When you walk back over there the fire was just like hell. Hell is--must be not as hot. And the fires we used to melt--not melt--we used to heated the steel and we used to shape the steel and we used to roll it in hot sand. The sand was boiling and people used to walk in, in the sand. If they didn't have no rags on the, on the shoes, on the--or we didn't have no shoes. If we had no shoes we had to put on some rags. If there's some sand got in, into the feet right away blisters and people were falling left and right. Where I was working I used to shoot in those shells in the wall and everyday they brought in people and they fell. The--every shell weighed fifty-five kilo. And two and a half pound a kilo, you can make it how many pounds that is. And when they picked it up and they couldn't put it in and they fell with the, with the shell, so many people died. And then in, in uh, in the, the camp C in Skarżysko, they used to pour it in the ???, the total, the, the, the, the powerful thing. People walked around yellow. Everybody was yellow and it was, was indescribable. Just people were dying left and right. We, we were dying from three ways. We were dying from work, we were dying from hunger, we were dying from the, from the ??? from the Ukrainian what were uh, were, were watching us--the guards. And we were dying from the foremans--what they were all half uh, Polacks, Volksdeutsch or they were Ukrainian or they were Polacks and, and, and we were dying. And on top of that, if we, we came home--so we were dying from the Jewish policemen too sometimes.

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