Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Living Conditions in Buchenwald

Were the living conditions the same in Buchenwald as they were in Skarżysko?

No uh, the living, uh, the--we were sleeping on the floor--on the ground in, in Buchenwald because we didn't have no barrack--they didn't have no place for us. So we slept--we, we were over there over a week. About, about--almost about two weeks. Then when they transferred us to the other camp--so then we went in, in barracks and we had the bunk beds and we stayed uh, we--the, the condition, in, in German--the living condition in the, in the camp was better than, than in Skarżysko. In--and over there every night--so and from there, I stayed 'til April '45. It was, it was terrible. I mean, the condition--I mean with the food, with the--and again with the, with--they, they accused us that sometimes we made a, we made a thing--we didn't, we didn't add those, those cinders and they accused us that we are saboteurs. They hanged a lot, a lot of people of us. They shoot a lot of people of us because they, they, they--when they shipped it out on the front and the soldier want to use it, always something was missing. So they accused us.

Did you, did you have discussions with the other uh, uh, prisoners about sabotage, about...

No, no, nobody--maybe it was a group internal what they were doing, or they--I never came to contact talking the--about saboteur, we never, we never. Or maybe it was some groups what they were maybe smarter than I was. Maybe they were doing--I don't remember. Only I remember that they, they were accusing us because we had to put on our serial number uh, by each shift what we manufactured. And when they shipped it out and they knew if they don't have the, the cinder--the cinder was like a box of matches and just sealed in with a little scotch tap--and when they want--ready to go to shoot and they didn't got those, those things to, to, to, to, to light it up. They, they just had uh, nothing. They just had it in the hand--they couldn't use it. So right away they accuse us that we, we tried to saboteur. So they always, they--so they were shooting and hanging a few times. And then uh, it was, was rough, I mean. And from Schlieben--they put us on box cars and we were about eight or nine days and we were shipped into Theresienstadt.

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