Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Talk of Revolt in Camp

Did the uh, uh, the people in the camp talk about uh, revolting against the guards?

Was, was uh, about revolting was very difficult to talk about. First of all, if a person is hungry, he's only looking how he could find something to eat. Or from revolting, it was very--we didn't think of that. Uh, maybe some other people was commandos. Commandos that means like brick layers, carpenters, plumbers. They used to go out, in and out. So maybe they could think about to do something. Or those what they--we--what we work inside the factory--we, we were searched coming in, we were searched going out because we used to make bullets to, to, to, to, to rifles. We used to do all kind of ammunition, it was ammunition factory. We always were searched and that. So, about revolting I don't, I don't know. I remember one time that marching in from the, from the factory to the, to the camp so was a group partisan or something, they put in two guys in our group to go in the camp. And maybe those guys want to organize and maybe cut the wires or something. Or somebody found it out there's two strangers in the camp. They were searching and searching and searching, and they found 'em. They found those two, they took 'em out on the, on the truck, took 'em and they shot 'em. Until they shot 'em, what, what they went through the interrogation, irriga...uh, how do you say irrigation, interrogation. And then, what they went through. So one time I heard about only--mostly we were occupied with the next day--how to, how to catch a extra piece of bread, how to get a little extra soup. Who you know it and what you know it, and that's all to do it.

You must have been losing a lot of weight.

I weighed this--I got a picture that's after the war--I weighed about forty, forty kilo.

That's about a hundred.

About, about ninety pounds.

Ninety pounds. How much do you weigh now?

Now I weigh two hundred. That's after the war, 1945. Maybe about three, four weeks after the war.

What uh, what kind of a shirt are you wearing in this?

That's uh, the stripe, strip--what you work in, in Buchenwald in the concentration camp--we're wearing stripes. In Skarżysko was a labor camp, we could wear our civilian clothes.

Why do you carry this picture with you?

That's a memory, that's, that's the only thing what is left. How can I forget? I give it to my children. Everybody's got it. I, I made copies and everybody's got a picture like this. That's all.

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