Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Shlanger - March 4, 1983

Beaten by Guards

You, you started to tell me you were beaten at Jaworzno, severely beaten. What were the circumstances?

Yes, well, after I was released from the hospital, after my injury in my eye, I was transferred to the construction project and I worked outside. It was late fall, it was rainy, cold, so I wrapped a blanket around my body and then I put on the stripped suit. And they noticed that I looked sort of big. So, they examined me and they find the, the blanket on me and for that I was beaten terribly.

By an SS guard...

I received an injury on my kidney, a bad injury. They stepped on me, they kicked me, they, they beat me with rubber hoses.

Did you go to the infirmary at this point?

No, I didn't, went to work.

With the injury?

With the injury. You could go to the infirmary only in the evening. In the morning you couldn't go.

How did you survive this beating?

I was bleeding for a while, urinating blood.

Internal bleeding?

Yes. And then that stopped, I felt better except that, I was suffering from another problem, a stricture and it wasn't treated until I got back home, to my hometown. Until then, it wasn't treated at all.

Was this a consequence of the beating?


What did that finally wind up with... ?

Eventually, created, you know, hypertension, which resulted in a brain hemorrhage and partial paralysis on the left side.

And this happened after the war was over as a result of the beating?


You continued to work then with this, even after this, with the injury?

Yes, I did.

And didn't tell anyone? No one helped...

Well, friends I worked with, they knew that I'm, I'm ill. It was bitter cold in December, November, December 1944. It was terribly cold and I continued working. And beginning of January 1944, I was working on that construction project, building the power plant.

How long were you at Jaworzno? 'Til what? Until January?

'Til January 1944.

Were there suicides there too?


Do you recall any specifically?

Yes, touching the barbed wire fence.

So, Jaworzno also had a lot...

Yes, a high suicide rate, yes. Especially the intellectuals. Not young people, not the very young; middle-aged people.

Any other kind of suicides? Did people uh, kill themselves in the barracks? Did you notice... ?

No, no, not other kind of suicides, I don't recall.

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