Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982


Now you were in Brande?

Yeah. Working, working in Geppersdorf for the firma--they call it firma, is a firm you know, a company, called ???. I worked for them the last couple months. We were working on under...underpasses on the Autobahn where we had to dig and, and we stand in the water and dig and uh, we had to stop the waters. There was so many small creeks and, and, and rivers, little rivers that we had to stop the water flow and do some cement work so they could build the Autobahn over it. See, that was underpass. So uh, I worked for this company. When this company moved to Brande, they want me and another five boys to go with them because we were the best workers. No matter what, I was the best worker wherever I went. So they, we went, moved to Brande. In meantime, my brother-in-law didn't go to work in, in Geppersdorf. He was in--inside of the camp. And he also was making the water for the washroom and the boiler, he took care of the boiler in the washroom. And I happened to see him doing it. See, I was there all the time, I ate there in his boiler room. That's where he took me and gave me extra food, see? So I saw him preparing for like uh, showers for the uh, r...room. E...every day was a different room number had a showers. So I saw--happened to see him doing that. How...

[interruption in interview]

So when I came to Brande, I was there uh, uh, a couple of months or so. And while we were going to shower, our block was going--two rooms, it was about a, a hundred and fifty people or a hundred people sometimes taking showers every week. Came out different rooms, see? So um, you know, the guy who was giving the showers there, was taking of the boiler room, taking care of the boiler room was not there because he chopped some wood and he, he--and he cut his hand with a axe. So when we were taking a shower I couldn't take it, it was cold and hot and cold and hot. And we were all uh, everybody was undressed and everything and couldn't take. So I happened to run in, run down and there was another guy in there doing it and he didn't know how to do it. I ran down naked and opened up the valves in the shower and finally we got nice warm wa...uh, warm water and we took a shower. So the foreman asked me, how do you know you know, how do you--see, they couldn't adjust the valves. So I adjust them and, and we had--so the foreman asked me, "How do you know how to do that?" So I said, "Well, I watched my brother-in-law in--on Geppersdorf, how to do it." So he says, "All right, I--you know what uh, the, the Bademeister--they called that Bademeister--the Bademeister is, is not here, he cut his hand. I'll take you into the Lagerführer. I'll take you into the Lagerführer." And, they called the Lagerführer horseman. And I didn't know why they called him horseman, you know. Well, he happened to be a horseman and he happened to know my father. You see? So they, the, the, the foreman, the Jewish foreman, the one who was taking the showers with us took me into the Lagerführer and he says that this kid knows how to do the uh, the boiler, the, take care of the boiler. And he says, "What's your name?" So I said uh, "Sam Seltzer." So he says uh, "Are you from, from Modrzejów?" I said, "Yeah." And he spoke Polish good, from Upper Silesia see, also. But he was from the other side of the border.

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