Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Wimmer - January 1, 1985

Working in Krupp's Factory

The first day when we arrived there was very, very hot. It was so hot--really hard to believe that they can give young girls machines to operate what we had to do. It was unbearable. First of all, the night we didn't rest so well on those uh, little bunk beds, whatever it was called. Uh, very uncomfortable. And then after to take off for twelve hours work was just torture. I was--my assignment was a big, big machine and I had to weld two half of guns to one. This was my, my machine to operate. When I saw this machine--and my German uh, foreman was human--when, when he saw me walking towards this machine and he knew who was working before me, a husky, strong man, a German, before the war broke out and he--I had to take over this machine, he shook his head. But, nevertheless, he had to show me how to operate. It was--every time I, I pulled the machine down fire went out and I did not have anything to cover my eyes, to protect my eyes. But, again, I had to do it. No questions asked. He explained for me. He said this has to be done and so and so many have, have to be done, you know. I worked so hard. I tried so hard and, on top of it, with so little food. They gave us a little clump of bread in the morning before we marched off to work for the twelve hours. This was the food for the twelve hours and, to sit and to work so many hours. And then, in case we had to go to the ladies' room, there was a German officer sitting right by the door. We had to raise our hand like children in class--may I, can I go. And many times she refused. She said, "No, not yet" because she didn't trust us that we need to go. She thought we, we didn't make up that we want to go just to fool around or, or whatever, rest up. Many times I really wanted to go because my eyes fell asleep from this fire what came out and not having enough rest during the night and not enough food, I fell asleep by the machine. I thought I will get killed. So, definitely I, I, I wanted to go. I raised my hand. Many times she said no and once in a while she said okay so I went there and washed my face off with cold water so I can go back to work. This is how it went out for twelve, twelve hours every single day. When we came back in the evening, we had to stay in line to receive--there was uh, again, there was uh, officer from our girls in the camp, in the barrack. We had three barracks; ours was number three. One of the girls were named the, the one in charge of the girls from this third barrack and we had to stay in line. There were two cans of food, whatever they prepared for us, not very much. So, we had to stay in line. Every room went, one room after the other, and we had a little soup. Sometimes they had a potato for us; sometimes not. The soup was very thin, very ugly looking. Hardly ever a piece of meat and this was the dinner. After we finished whatever we had, we had to clean up. We had to clean up not only our rooms--yes, also in the room was one long table with two benches, I mean one bench on each side, so with the eighteen girls, nine on each side, this is how we were sitting and eating. Everybody had a little plate and with this dinner plate we had to go out and stay in line to get the, the meal. When we received, we went in. Everybody had her place. We were sitting and when the meal was finished we had to wash each our own dish with the fork, whatever it was. Unfortunately, it wasn't--I wouldn't call it a fork or a spoon, whatever it was, and then we had to clean up the room, clean up the outside, the long hall. Everybody had to--was in charge of this, too, even the washrooms. Whoever went in. As many we, we went four, six at a time in the washroom. We had to clean this up. Then, around the barracks, the surroundings outside, we were forced to keep very clean. The Germans are very clean so they--a little piece of paper, anything what we have seen. We had to pick this up because Gestapo with, with the guns, soldiers, day and night, twenty-four hours they watched us.

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