Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982

Selection in Faulbrück

Stuffed myself with this cake. And, and I was working and eating, working and eating. And for a while I did that and I recuperated yeah, recuperated a little bit. And one of these days they came into Faulbrück and they had a selection. Well, this is when I was picked out to the gas chamber. I was picked three times to the gas chamber. This is one of them. They, they were picking people, I mean, kid, kids, which were, looked like Muselmann. Muselmann. They call it Muselmann because of, the ribs were showing, know. Now they picked me that Sunday as they, they--I had a number there in Faulbrück . Uh, uh, 95685--fünfundneunzigsechsfünfundachtzig. So they picked my number. I came to the selection, they did left and right, left and right. So--and they took uh, they saw my number there, they asked me, "What's your number?" So I showed the number. They picked a file, they had a file on the table. This number they made a "U." A "U" meant that you were not good for work anymore. And a, a, "A" means good for work. And a "U" was untauglich, no good for, for work. So uh, the uh, the same day, they picked out like a hundred and fifty boys and put them up on the attic, the ones who--you, you, you had to let your pants down and you had to turn around and see whether you're go...still good for work or not. They look you over and if your ribs were showing--and, and I was afraid that time, I was after the typhoid, my feet were swollen and uh, the uh, the uh, blisters were around my waist and shingles. I was, I was picked for sure. So they picked me as no good, to the, to the uh, oven. And so--and uh, about in, in the uh, same afternoon, they picked those boys, they gave 'em food, they gave 'em everything, and they put 'em up in the attic. There was a room on the attic there. Same afternoon some foreman went by, he says, "Well, we have too many people up there, can't put any more people in there." Fifty, fifty young boys we gotta hold back. Fifty young boys, I heard that, okay. So there was a big line in the washroom, young boys standing there waiting turn. So I kept--I was in the line, I came to the doctor, two doctors there, in the washroom. I said, "Well," I said, "I'm a, a, a good worker, you know. Ask my foreman." And, "Okay, get out of here." Three times I tried and he said, "What do you want here? Get outta here." They--so finally I ran out and found my foreman and brought my foreman. It's like somebody was pushing me. There was somebody there. See, somebody was behind me and pushing me. And say, "Go. Go do this, go do this." I ran out and I found my foreman. Right there, I brought him into the doctor's. He says, "Oh yeah, this boy is my best worker." I was working at this, at this block thing you know, out there. And uh, I picked my, my foreman came in, he said to the doctor, "This is my best worker." So the doctor says, "Okay what is your number?" So I told him, showed him my number. Went through the file, found my number. He said, "You have a "U," you have uh, no good." So I said "Yeah, but I'm a good worker man." And he says, "Okay." And the foreman was there and he picked me uh, my number and put a, he erased the "U" and put a "A." Put a "A" on it and he says, "Okay, you can go to, back to your room." So I went back. Next day in the morning, four o'clock in the morning, it's dark. Everybody upstairs--the boys were crying for water. They were sticking out their hands on the attic. Crying, "Water please, water please, give me some water." And when I came back from work the same day, they were gone. They were sent to Auschwitz. They were loaded into, to cattle cars and sent to Auschwitz. And a lot of those boys I knew. I worked with them. And they were gone. So that was the first time, one time I, I got away. So, from there, next time, we worked uh, I worked uh, for a while there and I recuperate a little bit. And I--my feet were still swollen but uh, they were not as bad. And uh, I, I managed to get some extra food there. Uh, I knew some boys and I uh, managed to get that cake from the uh, barrack and somehow uh, I managed to, to recuperate a little bit. Then uh, from there that Lagerführer there was Yanek Zason, they called him. That nickname. He was in, in Johannisdorf, Yanek Zason which didn't like me. So I was uh, I wanted to get out of there. They were looking for people again for work. I was there. I wanted to get out of there. So this Judenältester, Abrahamchek, came and told me, he says "Hamanula," he called me Hamanula like they called me--he says, "You better make sure that he doesn't see you. Yanek Zason. If he sees you, you're going to be in trouble. Make sure he doesn't see you, he doesn't recognize you. Stay in the back," he says, "and when we come, I come here with this peg wood," the peg wood was picking that time. I was a different peg wood foot, you know. Was picking. When, when, when, they called them the peg wood selection man, you know. He came and picked people to work and he said "When I come back with him, you know what to do. Put your feet together and show you're a strong boy." I--they came around me before. He came, that Yanek Zason came, the Lagerführer. I put my feet together, showed I'm a strong, healthy boy. Okay, they picked me. They picked me...

[interruption in interview]

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