Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zoltan Rubin - January 12, 1983


Oh, you were laboring the...?

Laboring, yeah. We, we were working in Jena. The, Jena, the Zeiss-Werke, Zeiss-Werke were moving quite into, into mountains. They were putting tunnels into mountains and this is where they put in their, their, uh...they were transferring factories. So, we were digging out big tunnels and the tunnel over this hill, this mountain, was all chalk inside. So, when we were chiseling and all the dust comes right into your...and I was working inside and there was another guy, a goy, uh, pushing the wagon and outside was zero cold outside in January and he was begging he should, he would like to work inside because it's nice and warm. And I couldn't take it, I says, "This is it, if I stay here, I'll die." So, we were...I says to him, "Fine, let's switch, if the, if the German will allow," and the German says, "Go ahead." I was outside and freezing, but living, he was inside. Three days later, he was dead. So, there's another, another thing uh, what's happening to me. Uh, how the, the fate is. That somebody's so many times it goes through, how many times it gets close to be, to, to be eliminated and, and go away and I, I believe this has something to do with it. Somebody had to talk about me. Somebody was thinking that three times in a row was the first time in, in, in Banská Bystrica, the second time in Kleindenbach and the third time right there outside where we were working. But the worst thing what was, when in Weimar we were bombed and I had the socks which my mother, she rest in peace, she just made me socks before we left, before we were talking about, I should go away to Hungary, she made me socks, I should be warm. And these socks was with me from all this time. All the time they were with me. And in Weimar we were bombed, this was already '45, forty...Yeah, this was already '45, it was in January, in, in spring, in January, first month, first, second month, January, February and I was drying my socks and all of a sudden from the pressure, the socks disappeared. I says, "My God, this is the end." Somehow I felt that this socks were something which is holding me. But it wasn't like this here, it wasn't. So...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn