Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992

Family Member's Plights in Płaszów

What had happened to your parents?

My parents, my parents came up to concentration camp, Płaszów, my father and my mother, too, you know. Before they went there up to Płaszów, my, you know, they were taking the people, my mother was even, was in a very bad condition. Her arm was broken, but she hides the arm, her arm, you know, under the coat, so they let her in, and so my father, you know, and so my bothers and their wives, you know, and it was so that the children, my brother's children were staying with me, they, I send up my brother, [crying] but the wives and the children, I was keeping to take care of. Whatever happened to mine would happen to you. We didn't realize that something can happen, you understand what I mean? We didn't know. Really. And the boys were, one was eight years, one was nine years, something like this, and I was keeping them with me, you know, hiding, you know, hiding, and I said to my sister-in-law, my brother, you go up and leave the children with me. Whatever happens to me, I, we really didn't realize that something, something like this can happen. So, I brought, I, with me, I brought up my brother's children and my child who, my child was two years old, not even two, one year old, and I hide him, I give him a sleeping pill, he should sleep, you know, and I keep him a Rucksack, you know, and brought him up. And these are the children that got saved, you know, and later on, a few children came up to concentration camp, Płaszów, too, you know, they were sending them up, and this is the children that to get at would have three hundred sixty children up, you know, and it was just terrible, just terrible. I, I can't even explain, you know, how they would believe that something like this could happen. Impossible, impossible. I can't even talk about the children. I really mean it. Children always were something special for me, still are, and how something like this happens, really. We were in Płaszów, it was a terrible thing, terrible. Really terrible. We were only three days, four days and [???], Fred's father got shot by the Commandant of the Lager, Goeth. He was shot by him. It was terrible. He was a wonderful brother, he was one of the best men in the whole world. I don't know how good, I can't even explain, especially me, [cries] I was something special to him, really. He always was taking care of me. He was wonderful, really wonderful. He was crazy about my child. He was so good, so good, my child was very sick in ghetto, very sick, very sick. He had to give him blood, he give blood for my child and everything. It's something unbelievable. I got so much in ghetto with my child. He was very sick. [pause] Very sick. I couldn't, you know, believe what I did my child, it was not so good, the milk was sour or something, in fact, it was full of bugs, that was unbelievable, unbelievable what I go through in ghetto with my child. So we came up to Płaszów, you know.

Was Fred's father shot while you were in Płaszów?

Ya. Fred was, he was the first, and for nothing. Ya. He was the first to be shot and killed in concentration camp Płaszów. It was just terrible.

And where was Fred?

Fred was near his daughter.

You saw him shot.

Ya. The child, and the other one, too. And they scream out, I think, and he almost killed them both too. And for nothing. He just shot. He just shot. Then we were in Płaszów, my mother and me, my brother, my sister-in-law, you know. It was unbelievable. The beginning they took away everything from us, you know, if somebody has gold ring, they take it, if somebody has gold you have to give away. They did this once in ghetto, and then in concentration camp again. Have to give everything away, whatever you have, you know. They find somebody hiding something, they killed, you know.

What did you do in Płaszów every day?

Płaszów, what did I do? Me?

Everyday, yes.

No, I was working. I told you.


In the beginning, I was going out to Madritsch, and then they didn't take to Madritsch, and then I was working in the Wäscherei, you know, laundering, laundering. Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992 - Mother's Death

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