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“We were divided into groups of two hundred men and each placed in the charge of a Block Elder who led us to his quarters. We were brought by a Pole called Karol, the Block Elder of Block 5. He originated from Warsaw and had come from the camp of Grossrosen. When we reached his block he sent half of us to the right and the remainder to the left of the sleeping quarters. He appointed a room orderly for each dormitory. Our search for a plank that was favourably situated naturally caused a certain amount of noise.

Immediately Karol and his helpers stormed into the room and wildly beat everyone in range of their sticks. “I will teach you, you sons-of-bitches, you criminals! Who the hell do you think you are? If I hear the merest whisper I will finish you all off!” he screamed angrily. Then he shouted over to the room orderly, “Bring me all those who do not remain silent if it gets noisy again. I will shut them up once and for all, and very quickly. There are too many of you anyway!””

… “We could be kicked in the stomach or punched in the face at any moment. We had to steel ourselves internally if we were to survive this bitter battle for life and not prematurely die. When in the evening we lay totally exhausted on our planks, the Block Elder Karol made a speech. “You must forget the life you have led until now. Now you are in a concentration camp. I am from Grossrosen Concentration Camp. There, Jews live for only fourteen days. Perhaps you will be able to live longer, but the only way you will leave here is through the crematorium chimney. You have not come here to live. Those who do not want to wait for death can choose the short path to the electric fence.”


Fence at Fünfteichen camp

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