Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994

Auschwitz II

Your barracks was in Auschwitz, not in Birkenau?

In Auschwitz, yes.


Now, you might ask me how do I know? I really don't know.

Because you would have walked from Birkenau to Auschwitz.

So--I, I, I--not that I remember. I don't know. I don't know really. That was--I think it was written there. "Arbeit Macht Frei"...Auschwitz--I, I--it was Auschwitz. But, but...

When did you find out--you, you said someone told you after the war they had seen your mother go into the crematorium.


Before that, had you thought about it?

No. No. Not like it. I mean from there being--even some time, there was a time, a couple times that they came in and, and they gave you letters to write. You can write two or three letters, whatever you want to--it's the Red Cross. And, oh, I write letters. If I would have any idea. But how can you have an idea? Something like that, again to come back, that people would take don't uh, take people and, and, and, and put them into gas chambers? I'm in uh, now, what we knew from Kascony yet, that who--they gonna put us to work. And who wants to work don't have nothing to worry about. That was my knowledge. And I knew my father was a young man, well um, I was with my father. At--but, in Kascony at the thought, from work I'm not afraid. And we are not afraid from work. So the worry was, was small.

And this information that David Klein gave you, it didn't sink in at all?


Still even after a week there?

No, no. How can that be? I mean, what is the man talking about? I mean how can that--I mean, if somebody would tell you offhand and that really here is the place where they take people, human beings, would, would that sink in? No it didn't. No, no that didn't.

Did you stop thinking, asking about the chimneys?

No, no that wasn't uh, uh, no, no, no. I, I think those, that week I walked around like a lost... and I wasn't even there somehow.

You were eating though?

Yeah, whatever they--yes, ye...

[interruption in interview] A loaf of bread. I would call it uh, a pound. And sometimes we got half of it. And sometimes the bread was cut in three. And we got soup. I don't know what kind of soup it was. But we got a little soup. There was time--not in Auschwitz though, in Auschwitz that's all what we got.

You said you ate treyf.

Yes. That was the first time. That was the first time. So you see, this nights and many nights I lay awake and I do ask I mean "Why did I... why did God have to send me to Auschwitz to work on Shabbos?"


It's a possibility. If I'm in Kascony today I would have never tasted treyfe. I would have never worked on Shabbos. So it's a very possibility.

Did you not talk to your father when you realized he was there?

Oh then we talked, then we talked. Mostly we talked about my mother and things and what's happening outside...

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