Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994


And what was the work?

Well, we were going, like I say, we were building the factory that the factory should make from coal gasoline. That was the uh, and we was bombed three times. When the factory was ready, we was bombed three times.

Is this an IG Farben company? Work?

I don't know.

Were there civilians who were, um...

Yes. There were civilians there too.

Were they, were they overseeing the work? Or were they also...

Yes, yes, yes. They were overseeing the work.



So what did you do when they were--when they bombed the factory?

Well, uh, uh, uh, we ran kinda. And the first time they bombed it, none of the, what you call them, inmates--none of us got hurt. At the second bombing, four of 'em they were uh, in the--taking a shower. Because you see to work, you can imagine to work, grind up coal makes you dirty, awful dirty. And many times--and they bombed and over there a father and son died, from my hometown. As a matter of fact she uh, there was a--she eh, eh, he had a daughter here in Detroit. They lived here. And I, I, I, I told them that, "Your father and brother, they were nice people, nice people, died from the bombing, in the bomb."

What, what were your reactions when the plane flew over?


Happy about it?

Happy. And we knew that because a day before there was a plane coming over and, I don't know, somebody told me that they're, they're taking pictures. Next day we knew the bombs will come. We are very happy. We didn't care for our lives. ??? You know there is... This was Yom Kippur and uh, they send us to work. You see they bombed. They throw bombs and there was a bomb on us that didn't explode. In, in uh, it was like in a basement it look like in a basement, a floor give up and they throw the bomb. And it fall right in there in hundreds of tons of grinded coal. And didn't explode. They ask who wants to volunteer to unload. I did not--I didn't know what a bomb is. I mean, I didn't know that can explode. I'm not, I mean, I wasn't--you know, a bomb, I wasn't that sophisticated or something. And the Germans, they stayed away. We had to clear that grinded up coal from that basement so they can get to it and disarm it. And uh, and we were down below. That was Yom Kippur. We davened because most of the people knew many prayers by heart. Never seen nothing like that. Never seen nothing like that. People who believes in somebody and He knows. He will, He has to help righteous people and so forth, so forth.

Did anybody fast?


Everybody fasted...

That wasn't--that was--fasting wasn't--that was the smallest thing.

Even in the concentration camp?

I know. That was--I mean fast--you didn't have what to eat anyhow. So fasting wasn't--people were fasting. There was some people who came home Erev Yom Kippur, you know you're supposed to eat till the sun goes down and some people were saying it's already a little bit late. They didn't ate. It's already yom tov.


Some people did ate a lot. Some people because it was a--we didn't know what time it is. We didn't have no watches. No place a watch. Some people you know even here some people you know they act to for show.

Your father changed, you said.


From that moment...


You were marching back to, to...

To, to the--from the workplace to the barrack, yes. He gave up and, and he didn't even talk to me. He looked at me, cried inside, hurt inside, and, and, he was happy I think that when he was supposed to go to Buchenwald uh, I don't know if he knew what will happen in Buchenwald. That I couldn't tell you. I myself, what I knew, there is a hospital there. They will take you to the hospital. And I volunteered.

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