Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Being Ill

This was uh....

In Skarżysko, everything's Skarżysko.

Yeah, yeah.

And they put me top on the--was the same thing and they put me on top. And then I didn't eat. I had a high temperature and, you know, and then in the typhus--the, the time changes and I had a nurse--I don't know what, and she--a, a Jewish girl--and she used to, and she used to ask me, "Are you want to eat? I said, "No, no" and I was sleeping over. And the truck came and they start pulling from the, from the bottom people out and they took 'em to the, the C, C camp and over there they buried them over there in the C camp. We didn't have no crematorium. And they buried them over there. And everyday full trucks and I was laying on--thank God I was laying high and finally I was feeling good and I said to her, "I would like to have some." And she give me the soup, and the soup what they brought it in to this hospital, they couldn't take it out. It had to be or spilled out or eat it up. So I don't know how many quarts I was eating. And then I came to myself a little bit. Then doctors came and I said to the nurse--I knew it's dangerous to stay in this barrack--I said to the nurse, "I would love to go home--I mean to go to the camp." So, okay. So the doctors were sitting. So like we have a, a ??? from God--I'm telling you the honest truth where the doctor was sitting and he was sitting by a table and he had a little bell and he told me to march through. And just from laying from the weakness and the filth what I had on me and everything so--and, and the temperatures. So I marched through one time and they told me to march back. And I marched back and then they said, "Okay, can be released." When he can be released so I walked out so another guy, another guy. So we had to walk maybe about three or four miles to a bed house. So everybody wants to hold on to the other--we were so weak we couldn't walk. So we were laying on each other and just holding and we made it to the bathhouse. When we came to the bathhouse we took off our clothes. And the hot water was just washing us through and they, they took our clothes, they put it in a kettle, you know, and they steam it out because it was lice and everything--dirty, filthy. And they give us back the clothes and then we came back and they give us a schonung--that means we can stay in the camp for recovery for three, four days. In second day they call us out--all what we are in, in, in the barracks and they go and they go, put us on a truck and, and to kill us. So when I saw this--so the night, the night uh, shift was standing and lining up by the gate and that was not far from the gate and I was coming and they call--they didn't call you by the name, they call you by the number. This, this number should go on the truck. So I didn't go. So I figured to myself--I talk to myself--I figured if they want me, let 'em come and pick me up. Why should I--what are they going to do. So the guy next to me--and he saw the number on me--he says, "That means you." I said, "They don't mean you if they will call you so do what you want." And I didn't, I didn't move. Finally when I stayed and stayed and stayed and I saw the line going through the closed the gate and I, and I had the, the group was going to work, you know, and I went with them out and marched in to the factory. When I came to the factory and I hided over there where they--where I used to work, then I told the foreman--he was a nice Polack--and I told him, "Look, so and so happened, so and so happened." He said, "No, I'm going to keep you. Don't worry." He brought me some food and I stayed in hidden by this--on the oven and I was warming up and I stayed over there. Then how long can I stay over there? So I stayed about two days, and then I had to report the, the command...the commandant from the, from the camp was a Jewish named Albirt. Very nice man, very nice man. And...

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