Par : Amy Deeks
Publié : 4 juillet 2005
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Life in Aushwitz and Liberation

So, for the first few days they didn’t want to give us any work. Subsequently I was sent to a German town to build an electric power station ... which I didn’t build I can assure you. But anyway I was given a wheel barrow which I had to push. I didn’t know why [I’d been given it] but I finally understood that it was to occupy. [Apart from that] It had no real meaning. I was staying next to a camp where there were entire families, something that was rare [in concentration camps]. They were gypsies. They left in the morning ; they did what they could to keep their children occupied with what they had. At six o’clock in the evening, when I returned to camp, having done the few jobs I could do, they [the gypsies] returned to their rooms (one room, absolutely basic). A few days later they all disappeared ; the barbed wire, the camp, the gypsies. I inquired [about the gypsies] ; they told me there had been too many people coming into the camp from across Europe. They couldn’t burn the gypsies ; they had to wait several days before taking them to the gas chambers, all the reunited children.

I had the chance, when I would leave the hospital, to work as a translator for some Greek people who couldn’t speak German. I speak Yiddish, which resembles somewhat to German. The German foreman, (who wasn’t a member of the SS) guided us and seemed to be very pleasant in the first few days. He had a swastika which was three times the size of everyone else’s. When I arrived, I became the interpreter for the Greeks.
On the second or third day I went to the toilet. There was a newspaper and something edible inside it. I read the newspaper and I saw the headline : “German troops repel the Soviets”. When I went out, the foreman said to me, “When do you think of this event, then ? Personally, I’m glad that this has happened ! What do you think ?” I don’t know how he knew that a comrade of ours listened to the radio. We knew that the Germans were going to be defeated by the Russians. So I said to him, “It isn’t completely like that.”
Two or three days later, I met him at the same place (which was always important for me- not only for calls of nature, but also for eating and reading the newspaper). In the paper headlined “The Germans recoil before the Soviet advance.” When I went out, the foreman said to me “Du hast Recht” (you were right). I asked him : “There is something I wish to know, how a man like you, who has a swastika three times bigger than anyone else’s in the SS. You’re human, after all.” He answered, “I’m a communist. I joined the party so my son wouldn’t be forced to fight in Russia.” We stayed for some time with the Greeks, who didn’t do a lot, fortunately because they didn’t ask to. It was the end.