Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994


Remember the smells?

Well, this, this--I'm coming, I'm coming, I remember going through two different gates to my barrack. Little gates it was. All of a sudden somebody calls me. "Leibisch!" I didn't recognize the man. He came a transport before me. His name was Dovid Klein. Knowing the man from home, he had--used to have a red beard. His daughter is alive I know. If, if she ever sees the tape or something. I says, "What is there smoke? What that smoke in the chimneys? What is that smell?" The man started to cry like a child. "That could be my wife there. My children. Could be your father, mother." [pause] I couldn't comprehend that either. What is he talking about? That didn't register in me. It didn't register. And I went to my barrack. And rest.

What was the barrack like?

The barrack was uh, uh, uh, uh, a lot of these beds naturally. And that's about it. It stood from three uh, one to three uh, uh, uh, three...


Tiers. Yes. Yes. Yes. And uh, and really from that I don't remember much. Still I was not in my mind. Somehow I was out of my thinking capabilities. It wasn't, it wasn't what I'd now...It was behi...beyond human comprehension. In a short time, a lot of things happened. I said goodbye there to my grandmother. I, I, I see my mother, my father. I didn't see 'em anymore. I, I, I know they're hurt. They're, they're, they're, they're...What can I describe it? The hurt on the faces of my mother and father. And also my dear friends. Friends whom I know they are good people. They are--I know some of them are sick, some of them are this uh, I--that--there are no, no, no--you cannot comprehend it. And many of it, I cannot comprehend it today. [pause]

Then what happened?

Then they told us to go outside. Stand in line.


Yeah. Appell. And they look. And all of a sudden--and this is a week later--I see my father there. And you can imagine. So a Kapo comes there. He was from Romania. Because you see, in the Lagers, there were Germans who were in the Lagers. Who didn't went along with, with Hitler. From Romania there was and so forth. Not many, not many--there were a few. And he told me, "Don't do that. If they gonna see that you're relative or father." So I--he told me that's why my number is 57,490 and my father was 57, 503. We were standing one beside the other. And we were put in the same uh, uh, wagon, same cattle car. And we went together to Buchenwald.

So after a week--what did you do that week?

Here we didn't done much. We didn't done much there during the week.

Just a lot of roll call?

Roll calls and, and, and, and writing and, and then uh, uh, uh, even if you were supposed to be adapted to work but he didn't done nothing. He looked at you and thinks whatever. But there was nothing. We didn't done much there, no. The only thing really I seen that people...skeletons. I don't know how to talk to them. I was afraid to talk to people or what. And this is all who they were, what they were but skeletons, skeletons. Yes, yes.

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