Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982

Außenkommando Buchenwald

How did you get there from Auschwitz?

With uh, with uh, uh, boxcars. Now...

[interruption in interview]

Now Außenkommando Buchenwald was uh, a camp also made from the textile factory. And um, had already SS. It, it, it was a small town. I forgot the, the name of the town, but they called it Außenkommando Buchenwald. It was made like you see in, in uh, in a circus for lions and tigers come out. It was made with wire around it like this go to work, see? It was made like, like, like a tunnel made out of wires. And we had to go every day to work, into work. And we worked on, on wings, airplane wings. One day we saw a fight when we delivering the wings, done already and we saw a fight up in the sky in uh, airplanes fighting. And, and we had to camouflage the wings with all kind of stuff. Snow and when the snow wasn't there we had to bring some uh, like branches and cover up all the wings there, see? That would--so they can't see from up, from up there. On the field they were all lined up, wings for certain airplanes. And I was working there with a, with a Russian prisoner. They didn't live where we lived. They lived in a different place. But he was working mechanic and I was a mechanic. So we were working. We were building up the uh, the thing you uh, the uh, bottom part where you put the machine gun on it. The holder, machine gun holder. You know, you put it and you mount it. So we were shooting the rivets into--and uh, we were--we had a lotta--he, he taught me Russian songs and everything. I know Russian very good now. And uh, we were friends, you know. And one day somebody did sabotage there and they cut the wires from all the wings--airplane. And they had us out on the wall already to shoot by the wall they lined us up, whoever worked on the wings. And already--all night that time they were--kept us to find out who did it. Could have been a German did or could have been a Russian. Somebody did, made sabotage. So we had with us there, it was a, a couple of kids. One was seventeen years old and the other kid was fourteen. From Hungarian--a couple of Hungarian kids. And the older brother tried to talk him, the younger brother to admit that he did it. With the pliers, he was jumping up and down so see, so to take the blame off on him. So in case something happened they can shoot him, not, not everybody see. So the younger kid did this. He took upon himself. He said, "Maybe with the wires I'm walking all day you know, jumping from one wing to another, maybe I--the wires caught it." He just said, "Maybe I did it with my pliers, see, with the tools. But they didn't believe him. And they kept us all night and they were ready to take care of us. And somehow they let us go again. Again, I ran into a SS man. When I was in the barrack during the day uh, it wasn't far to go back to the barracks from work. For some reason I went back to the barracks. Either I, either I was sick or toothache or whatever it is, going back there. Uh, yes, I remember I had a big boil under my arm...

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