Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982


And what were the conditions of your arrival at Klettendorf?

Well, at Klettendorf we all um, in the bus nobody was talking. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, you know. And everybody was--didn't know what's going to happen to him, nobody knew what's going to happen and it was--it was people already, family people and young boys. And uh, in fact, at the transit camp...And they had uh, a selection and I complained that I was a minor. I wasn't even sixteen years old. And my cousin was caught and my cousin's brother was caught. They were small. They let them out. And my, my, my cousin's brother was older than I was and they let them out. They were minors. I--he came to me, he says, "Boys like you we needed." And patted, pat me on the shoulder, he said, "Boys like you we need." And that was it. And so. And then, when we arrived to Klettendorf uh, it was a camp, I would say like uh, it was barracks on both sides, wooden barracks. And uh, there was a barrack on, on the outside for the SS. At that time it was SA, they call it. SA. That was the Brownshirts. They were uh, close to, to the gates. And I remember that very good I remember when we came in there, we're standing there for uh, counting heads and so forth. We waited for hours and hours 'til the Lagerführer arrived. The Lagerführer name was uh, Ackerman.

[pause] Ackerman was uh, uh, Ackerman was a uh, real, real German. About five feet six or seven. Red face. With the whip and boots. It was a typical, typical German. When he arrived, it, it, it became so quiet that uh, like, like before a storm. Very calm and quiet. And when he came in and he says, "I don't want anybody to run away from here." And he gave us a speech that time and he says, "If you want to see the proof, you go in into the ba...to the washroom and take a look." And when we were dismissed they told us to go through the washroom and there was uh, two people there laying shot, they were laying there and we had to step over them. And that's--he, he put, he, he had a sign: "That's what happen if you run." And right away at that time we were already shooken up and, and very, very sad. It was a sad day for us when we came into Geppersdorf.

Excuse me um, you used the term Klettendorf. Is that the same as Geppersdorf?

No, it's a different name. Geppersdorf was my first, Geppersdorf was my first camp and Klettendorf was another camp.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn