Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Weiselman - January 1, 1985

The Coalmine II

Yes. I see. Well, how long were you in the coalmines? When ???

So, in, in that time, all together, I supposed to be three years, but I was more. They didn't uh, free me. So I worked in this camps and then they find out that I am a tailor. Yes. This was later on. From the camps they needed for construction work. They-I was not a too good coalminer because I was physical, because I'm not ah, build it as a good and working, and very hard work, they think on the construction maybe I would be better.


So they took me on construction and I work construction work and really nothing happened and I dig the ground. It was uh, you need it, four holes, about five to six feet, to deep, to put in a post, they need four post, this barrack, for a barrack, you know? It was ??? tent, they didn't, they didn't made it from, they made it like tents but uh, you couldn't survive too much in a tent, because it's so cold. So they made it barracks. They, who, the working condition was in order to get a kilogram of bread, any decent meat, you have to make 100 percent work, 100 percent work means four holes sticking it out.


I dig out one and a half, the highest two, two and a half. Sometime three. Sometime four, when I had luck, that the, the ground was not so lime, you know, it didn't stick to the shovel.

Yes, it was like clay.

Like clay. But one time I made only two holes. And I expected this two and a half holes that would be a ration card for me, soup, from the peeling of the potatoes, if you make 100 percent they would give you this soup, from peel of potatoes, and they give you some piece of meat and some other ??? that they had, you know, the kil... kilogram of bread. And when he starts, after the work, he hands me my ration card. I look my ration card, it's written 100 percent. And he said, "Normal ration card." Really potato soup, and really something to ??? the bread, but I see this, another worker close to me, he made it four holes. He gives him the punishment ration card. ??? ration card.


And I was really afraid because that guy was a really criminal guy, he was, uh, twenty years of the sentence, maybe could probably kill me or somebody. It was the wrong guy and I tell them ??? mistake. You gave me 100 percent, I didn't make 100 percent. He said, "No, I didn't make a mistake.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn