Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982

Labor in Annaberg


He was in there, sitting in there and watching us. And we were working and working and crying--freezing. And I wanted to go to the bathroom, he wouldn't let me because he was so mean. So I had to make right in there in the sand. And he was so mean. At that night we were frozen like a suit of arms you know, I was like--I couldn't bend down, I couldn't walk, I couldn't stand. And all of us were crying. There were six, maybe eight of us. And we were crying. And we were, how are you know, we couldn't walk. Stiff. Completely frozen. My hair was frozen, my, my uh, eyebrows were frozen. Everything was uh, completely frozen. It was raining and freezing. And that night we were crying. Every one of us, we were crying and saying, "What is it going to be, when is it going to end?" I will never see the end." You know, people were in for that long. I felt like I'm a horse or a cow. I was, I didn't feel like a human being anymore. Because you didn't--you know, you were not a human being anymore. It's impossible to live like that for people. Even dogs live better than that, you know. So that, that night I'll never forget. But then I was uh, uh, picked out to dayshift again. In that camp, in Annaberg, while I was on the nightshift, I was going out to, to work in the kitchen. To wash potatoes. And we had a, a roller like and you rolled and you washed potatoes and carrots and so forth. And I had extra food, see? So I kept already getting good, you know. Work--the work didn't bother me, but the food bothered me. I didn't have any food. So by that time I was already about seventeen, seventeen years old. And uh, I was eating better. And then I was picked out for day shift. In day shift we worked uh, went from like uh, seven o'clock in the morning 'til about uh, five to six o'clock at night. Uh, worked a while on day shift. Then I, I was put on, on noon shift. Twelve o'clock, noon shift. So afternoon shift, we were walking to work, back from wo...no, walking to work, we were walking to work when we saw a fight in the air with airplanes. American came twelve noon and twelve at night. That's when it started. American plane came twelve noon, they had a big fight over, over the Annaberg camp. We had shrapnels, you know. And we had uh, and we heard a lot of uh, and we were walking on the road to work, a plane came down, American plane and start shooting at us. And they--the uh, SS were with us. The guards telling us to get off the road into the groove, you know. So we went down in hiding and everything. And where that, when the first time that, the things light up on us again. The, the, the sun was, start shining for us again. And we were so happy about it. And we looked at each other. We didn't want to say nothing. And we looked at each other and we were so happy. Inside, inside our hearts was telling us, maybe, maybe, maybe it's not going to take long you know, and so. And, and while the airplane came down another one came down and start shooting. Those two SS men were hiding in uh, behind a tree. I take a look, one of them caved over and got shot. One of them got shot and the other one I think either, either was wounded or, or he got back. So one of them just, alone. He was, he got scared and start screaming at us and everything. And then the others came and took this guy away--the SS away. And uh, we were happy. I didn't care whether, if they hit me or not. I didn't care. I said, "Come on down, come on down," you know. So that was our first...

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