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Ernst spots a friend, Otto Schwerdt, who he had done some favours for in Märkstadt

“If I did not succeed in leaving Block Five in good time I would have to share the unavoidable destiny of those who had already been beaten to death. My plan to search was frustrated because I could not leave the block. Anyone who merely turned to the side was mercilessly beaten. In the block we suffered the same harassment we had experienced the previous day. I was removing a tabletop of broken glass when I noticed that Otto was standing outside the camp building window. I was so overwhelmed with joy that my first impulse was to instantly rush to the window to attract his attention but I tripped.”

… “Suddenly I felt a harsh blow from behind. My glasses flew from my face and when I bent down to retrieve them I received a second beating. I had no time to turn round because the Block Elder Karol took hold of me by the lapel of my jacket, pulled me to him with a single jolt began strangling me and suddenly shoved his elbow in my face. “What are you looking for out there, you criminal?” he screamed at me. I made a piteous remorseful face and remained silent. My experience of more than three years of camp life had taught me that every answer would only add to the anger and sadistic lust of this criminal and then under no circumstances would he release his victim. My best strategy to avoid further beatings was not to give any answer. I received an almighty push and quickly ducked back into the tightly packed crowd and immediately recommenced my work.”

funfteichen-plan-of concentration-camp

Plan of Funfteichen made by the survivor Tadeusz Solla []

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