Transfer to Krupp ends hope of Meister Hermann’s protection

EXCERPT FROM THE LONG NIGHT

Fünfteichen

That morning, Appell took a long time because many of those who worked for various construction firms were now allocated different jobs. Many were assigned to work for Krupp. Their factories were already fully equipped and all they lacked was a workforce. These factories worked day and night, and our camp had to provide two twelve-hour shifts. Until then I had worked for Schallhorn as an apprentice electrician, but I had to leave them and report for work to the firm Krupp. And so my hopes to work again with Meister Hermann were finally dashed. I had lost a helpful friend who had not only fed and protected me, but had also given me the feeling that I was a human being and an equal partner. The way he behaved towards me gave me self-confidence and strengthened my will to live. This prevented me, unlike many of my comrades, from sinking to the level of an apathetic animal and committing unspeakable acts.

I had often witnessed how constant fear of ill-treatment had degenerated into indifference to evil, and into a condition in which sympathy for oneself and others was completely lost, in which a person became a vegetating creature devoid of any human characteristics. Our oppressors were intent on extinguishing our human spirit and trampling on our human dignity.”

funfteichen-concentration-camp-electrical

All that remains of an electrical transformer at Funfteichen [Jerzy Urbaniak, 2003]

Forced labourFünfteichen campKruppMeister Wilhelm HermannPsychologySurvival
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