Landsberg
im 20. Jahrhundert
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Compiled by Manfred Deiler

KZ Kaufering IV bei HurlachArrival at the camp
Accommodations at the camp
The clothing of the prisoners
Sanitary conditions
The food in the camp
The roll call
The perpetrators
Punishment
The selection
Medical care
Death and dying

Arrivial at the camp

In Auschwitz, they herded us into cattle cars that had been standing ready. Once again crowded together and equipped only with a piece of bread and a bit of margarine, we rode for several days in closed boxcars and finally arrived at Kaufering. (Elias Godinger)

At the Kaufering train station there were three platforms. Behind the platforms there were the railroad sidings. Once there arrived a train- - I believe I was unable to eat for eight days afterwards. The prisoners were crowded together in closed boxcars, worse than cattle. Those that were dead, they threw out the back. There was a small embankment there. The others were herded out of the boxcars and beaten. It was terrible! The dead people were lying down there for days.(Anni Gabler)

The people were in the boxcars for many days without food or drink. Hundreds died from hunger and thirst; the survivors were skeletons covered with skin. When we opened the overcrowded boxcars, dead people and survivors who had gone crazy fell out. We spent hours carrying the dead people away from the train. (Miroslav Karny)

On October 24, 1944, we- - a group of 1,200 Jews- - were evacuated from Auschwitz and transported to an unknown destination. After three days we arrived in Kaufering and were immediately led from the train station into the adjacent Camp III. There we were divided up on the same day and sent to various camps in the vicinity. . . . When we arrived, we were yelled at by the Jewish Kapo Bursztyn (a prisoner collaborating with the guards) who already was responsible for the death of several Jews. He let us know that we had arrived in an extension camp of Dachau and that none of us would get out of this camp alive. (Zew Garfinkel)

In Kovno we were loaded into boxcars. When we arrived at Kaufering after 2 three days, we had to make our way to Camp I on foot. We did not take the main road but marched through the fields. . . . I don' t know anymore whether it was on the same day or the next day, but we were entered in the camp' s registry. My father got the number 81498 and I got the number 81499. They took away our clothes and everything we owned and we got prisoner clothing. . . . We were ordered to surrender all documents, objects of value, and money. Some people did not want to give up their money and threw it into the latrine. Later some people were selected to fish the money and valuables back out of the latrine. (Louis Braude)

... we stood in front of the Kaufering camp near Landsberg, an offspring of the camp at Dachau. We had to stand in front of the camp all day, and they systematically robbed us of our clothing and valuables. (Maria Tuszkay)

Kirsch gave the order to take away from us our overcoats, underwear, even shoes, watches, valuable objects, and papers. He said in this place personal identification papers are not necessary.(Dr. Jacob Kaufman)

After our arrival we had to stand in formation for the roll call. ... My friend and I translated what the Germans were telling us: "This is going to be your food, you dirty Jewish pigs. This is all you are going to get in the near future until you fall over dead!" (Gisela Stone)

In Kaufering we were greeted by SS- Rapportführer Kirsch. He lectured us on the responsibilities of concentration camp inmates: "You filthy pigs, you know that from this day on you will eat Dachau- bread, and this means that you will be sent to hell before your time if you do not do your duty". (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

Accommodations at the camp

All around there was dense, impermeable barbed wire, and every 100 to 150 feet there was a guard tower. (Ladislaus Ervin-Deutsch)

... every 15 to 20 feet there were spotlights. At the four corners of the camp were guard towers, and in each of them an SS- fellow with a submachine gun. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

You could not approach the fence closer than eight feet or the guard would shoot. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

We came into a camp which had not yet been completed. Thee were small round huts made out of plywood. When the camp was finished, we lived in huts that were partly underground and covered with earth. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

They stuck us into earth huts which were in the ground and had only a small roof. (Gisela Stone)

Berichte aus der Hölle 3 In the middle of the earth huts there was a filthy trench. Over this trench there was a roof. To the right and left of the trench, at knee height, there was a wooden floor which was covered with excelsior. The floor of the trench was below ground level. We slept at ground level. The roof was covered with earth. The roof was the only place in the camp where grass grew. Each hut had only one entrance, and at the other end there was a double window. A hut was approximately 40 feet long and the trench was a bit more than 3 feet wide. The wooden platforms on the left and right side measured approximately six feet. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

n the middle, you could barely walk upright, but you had to crawl in a prone position to enter the bare sleeping platforms. These accommodations were worse than those at Auschwitz. (Elias Godinger)

The ceiling was so low that one could not sit on the sleeping platform. On the other hand, one had less than 4 inches of room for one' s feet at the outside end. These were not even shacks, they were dog houses, and on top of that they were extremely filthy. (Sara Bentar/Anne Cohen/G. u. L. Hasson)

There were 50 prisoners in each earth hut. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

Occasionally, there were even as many as 110 or 120 people in one hut. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

When a window broke and had to be replaced with cardboard, the light in the hut was very dim. Therefore they later ran electricity into the huts, and the lamp was placed next to the stove. The stove was actually the center of the hut. Here there was warmth, here one could bake potatoes, here there was light. ... But when it rained, the water collected on the dirt floor of the trench. Sometimes it even rose to the level of the sleeping platforms and swamped them ... this crowded place was always smelly, and when we all laid down, our clothing started to steam, and almost everyone got sick. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

When it rained, and that happened frequently, the water dripped through the roof. When the snow came, it began to melt as soon as the warmth from our bodies reached the layer of snow on the roof. (Sam Berger)

The small stove in the hut was stoked up only in the evening. We were regularly given a small amount of heating material, but we were largely dependent on what we could finagle ourselves. (Miroslav Karny)

Our hut was neither insulated nor heated, and we naturally had only a thin blanket to cover ourselves with. At night we crowed together to warm each other. (Otto Greenfield)

When our bunker was fully occupied, lack of space prevented us from lying on our backs.(Sam Berger)

There were no bedclothes, and we slept on the miserable wooden surface covered with excelsior. Every prisoner had only one blanket. There should have been two for everyone, but at no time did we get two blankets per prisoner.(Dr. Norbert Fried)

Some undressed before they went to sleep. I preferred to sleep in my wet clothes. It was much more unpleasant to have to slip into cold clothes the next morning. (Louis Braude)

The clothing of the prisoners

We had only the regulation prison clothing and heavy, very uncomfortable wooden clogs. We had no underwear. ... Our people had no warm coats and no warm clothing whatsoever. Some went to work in pajamas. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

We received our clothing in Auschwitz. I received a shirt on October 3, 1944, and until the day of our liberation, I did not get another shirt. There were no laundry facilities and no warm water. When we received our shirts, we also got short underpants- - underwear- - and these things had been manufactured- - the underwear of Auschwitz- - it was manufactured in a Polish factory that made Jewish prayer shawls, and for the religious ones among us it caused us some difficulties to wear things made out of sacred material as underwear. Then we also had a pair of pants and a jacket, and the 600 Jews from Czechoslovakia, who had arrived together with me, even had so called civilian clothes. These were the clothes of the Jews that had been murdered at Auschwitz. The prisoners were marked with large letters on their backs, with crosses, with numbers and with red symbols. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

... our only dress had to serve at the same time as undershirt, underpants, handkerchief, and towel. (Sara Bentar/Anne Cohen/G. u. L. Hasson)

The prisoners had only very little underwear or none at all. ... The people told me that they arrived from Lithuania with good leather shoes. Usually two pair. Those were taken away from them and replaced by wooden clogs. These clogs were worn out very soon because they were worn at work and on the long walk to and from work. When that happened, the prisoners did not have any shoes any more and had to wrap cement bags around their feet. (Karl Stroh)

In the camp we received vests and pants made out of crepe paper. We used that stuff as underwear because paper is warm. (Louis Braude)

I had no shoes and made myself protection for my feet out of pieces of wooden boards and old sacks which I fastened to my feet with wire. (Elias Godinger)

I suffered very much because of the wooden clogs. They consisted of a wooden sole, and I believe the upper part was made out of leather. This created deep abrasions on the instep of my feet . . . the scars on my feet are still visible today. (Louis Braude)

Our shoes were full of holes, we wore no socks, our feet had blue marks and our legs were swollen. We sank knee- deep into the snow. For clothing we wore only our striped prisoner uniforms and every now and then a coat out of the same thin material. ... The winter temperatures varied from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below Zero Fahrenheit. (Dr. Albert Menasche)

Most prisoners noticed quickly that the snow seeped through their shoes or that their paper shoes became soaked. Many kept stepping from one foot to the other because they had no shoes at all. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

Sanitary conditions

There was hardly any water; no soap was available, and we still wore the clothing which we had been given at our departure from Birkenau. Soon lice began to appear. (Dr. Albert Menasche)

We were visited by lice, clothing lice- - where they came from I do not know. They were suddenly there in great numbers, and they had already taken care to multiply. The lice could no longer be ignored. In the beginning one was embarrassed by them and secretly cracked them between one' s thumb and fingernails. (Sam Berger)

Since we were completely covered with lice, my friend scratched my head all night long. There were three different kinds of lice: Head and body lice, lice in the groin area, and lice in the clothing. They swarmed all over. It was terrible! (Gisela Stone)

When we came to the camp, we already found lice. The numbers of the lice grew at a horrible rate. The blankets of sick people were white with lice.(Dr. Norbert Fried)

Everyone has lice; monstrously many lice on everyone. Sometimes when a prisoner takes off his cap there is a white swarming underneath from all the lice. But when somebody has died, then the lice leave his body and creep onto his clothes. The clothes of dead people were usually throw next to the stove. Then the lice began to creep onto the black coat. next, the coat became gray; later it became totally white. When I looked at the coat closely, I saw that it swarmed with several layers of lice . . . The lice destroyed everything that still remained of our lives, and they created an enormous amount of suffering. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

The lice were supposed to be exterminated because the SS was very afraid, especially of typhoid, and the lice did not want to accept racial differences. ... Doors and windows, the only openings of our shacks, were closed up. The gas was let into the shacks and we were led to be deloused in a tent that had been set up near the camp. Our clothing, except for the shoes, was bundled up and thrown into a container. We had to get under the showers. Water which was almost boiling hot came out of the showers and then cold water. Finally we got our clothes back, but a sulfur smell lingered in them. It took several days until the smell of the gas slowly disappeared. The same happened to us in the shacks. The damp blankets sucked up the smell of the gas. The air in the shacks was difficult to breathe and made us almost suffocate. But we finally were done with it and survived. Most species of lice didn't survive but apparently one species did because within a very short time, the lice reappeared and tormented us just as their predecessors had done. (Sam Berger)

We went to be deloused and we were the only two women among approximately 100 men who were supposed to be deloused with us- - for just the two of us they would not turn on the whole apparatus. We stood there and they gave us a towel to cover ourselves up with even though there wasn' t much to cover up. (Gisela Stone)

The food in the camp

In the morning, we got black water- - no coffee, no sugar in it. When we worked on the construction site, we got soup, the so- called "Mollsuppe." That was approximately three cups of water with dried vegetables in it. The soup was watery. Then, after we returned from work, in the evening around 8: 00 p. m. and sometimes as late as 10: 00 p. m. , we got the camp soup. That was about one quart of soup, boiled with un- peeled potatoes, but it was also very thin. Sometimes there were only two halves of an un- peeled potato in a quart of soup. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

A loaf of bread weighed 1,500 gram or 3.3 lbs. In the beginning, we got a quarter of a loaf per day, then one fifth, one sixth, one seventh, and then at the end, one eighth of a loaf. One eighth of a loaf amounts to two slices. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

In the evening, we were given a slice of bread and some soup- - it looked like soup- - that was perhaps 200 calories per day. When we got 250 or 300 calories, that was considered a lot. (Mark Weinberg)

... added to this was the so called "Zubuße," or special addition, which changed daily and consisted either of half an ounce of margarine or a slice of inferior sausage or a piece of cheese, or a spoon full of artificial honey or liquid marmalade. (Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

At the construction site we did not get bowls or plates. When we wanted soup, we had to look for rusty tin cans or things which we could use. In the camp, there were 400 soup bowls for 3,000 prisoners. Approximately 2,000 prisoners returned from the construction site at the same time. Thus there were long lines of hungry and tired people who already had been on their feet for 16 hours. They had to line up in front of the kitchen and wait for their soup bowls. The dishes were not washed but handed from one person to the next. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

... toward the end, when the conditions in the camp began to deteriorate, the soup bowls were usually not only used to get soup from the kitchen but also as wash bowls and as bed pans. (Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

We used the handles of our army spoons which we had filed as sharp as knives to divide small portions of food on a large wooden board, and these portions would then be inspected by all those who had not become too apathetic, and then we drew lots for these portions.(Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl)

Later the quality of the bread changed ... for the bread had lost its firm consistency and taken on a new coloring- - it was deep green, totally moldy. We placed the bread rations- - moldy as well as non- moldy pieces- - into a tin can and poured a bit of "coffee" over it. Then we used a piece of wire to hang the container on the small iron stove in the middle of the shack. The glowing embers under the container were fanned into a fire with the heating fuel consisting of the clothes of the dead. Waiting for the transformation was torture but well worth it. After a certain time, the green of the mold disappeared without a trace and we were able to eat the brownish product immediately while it was still semiliquid... (Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl)

People ate the grass which was growing on the side of the shacks, dusty and dirty, as they plucked it from the earth. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

The yard had been grazed empty by the hungry prisoners except for the most bitter kinds of grass.(Sam Berger)

Sometimes we were so hungry that we who were on the detail that pulled the wagon picked up leaves of plants and other frozen edible things which were lying in the road, or we scratched out of dung heaps or out of ditches slices of kohlrabi, carrot sticks, and bones which had been thrown away, and we were so hungry we gnawed on these things. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

... these prisoners looked as if they needed to be hospitalized or were ready to die - and when they came by our fields, they were hungry like wolves. When two or three went and picked a few potatoes out of the field, the guard come up and knocked them down with his rifle - I tell you it was frightening. And he screamed at them as if he were trying to tame a bull. One doesn't even treat cattle this way. (Franz Rech)

The population of Landsberg did not behave well. They considered us enemies. I always said that after the war I would kill every German I met. But I also saw children- - the children gave us food- - small packages of food; those were the good Germans. (Mark Weinberg)

As soon as I saw signs that someone was about to die, I watched him with the endurance and patience of a vulture. As soon as he was dead, I went to where he lay and searched for bread. ... I ate the bread without regard to its condition, bread which had been lying underneath lice- ridden people with diarrhea ...(Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl)

When the last vestiges of body fat were used up, we began to look like skeletons that were disguised with skin and a few rags of clothing, and we could observe how the body was beginning to eat itself up. The organism devoured its own protein; the muscles disappeared. Now the body did not have any resistance to illness any more. One after the other in the community of our shack died away. (Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

... the first hungry person showed up with the meat. He gnawed on it, and he liked it. It was a good roast. Afterwards others followed his example and began to chew the bloody flesh of people. It made us shudder. Then we had to wrestle with ourselves and for our souls. The human flesh beckoned us and our senses were revolted ...(Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

The roll call

The prisoner was awakened at 4:30. Then he was made to jog to the roll call area. ... There one had to stand at attention for an hour and a half, no matter whether it rained or snowed. One was counted countless times. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

We said that we were being counted like gold but treated like dirt. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

Being screamed at was part of the roll call; the roll call was part of the camp' s routine.(Sam Berger)

Every morning and every evening there was a roll call which lasted for hours and sometimes into to the night, no matter what the weather conditions were (cold, rain or snow) . We had to stand at attention, and in addition there were several drills, for instance "Cap On" / "Cap Off" and others. Everything was practiced and accompanied by the screaming and beating fellow prisoners until the camp commander was content. (Elias Godinger)

The roll calls happened during the night every two or three hours. This way we didn' t even get enough sleep. (Gisela Stone)

.... we raced to the roll call area- - and then we stood and waited - I don't know how long - in groups of 100 prisoners. On mild mornings this was bad enough because we might have to stand there for two hours; on cold mornings it was murder, and if there was also a cold wind, we hardly knew how we could stand it. But the worst was driving rain which soaked us, made us freeze, and brought us close to despair. (Otto Greenfield)

The perpetrators

Sometimes Tempel ordered those who had shoes but were too sick to work to take off their shoes and give them to those of us who were able to work but had no shoes. Tempel said that this was how he was teaching us "German socialism". (Dr. Norbert Fried)

Tempel usually searched the prisoners when they came back from work. If he found they had something such as for instance potatoes or cigarettes, he kicked them in the stomach.(Abraham Rosenfeld)

In Camp IV, the name Tempel was a word of terror. (Moses Berger)

As a walking stick, Tempel carried a piece of rubber- covered cable which he used to beat prisoners.(Dr. Norbert Fried)

... a piece of cu-off of cable; at the cut off end, the cross-section could be clearly seen - artfully woven layers of metal covered by a relatively thin layer of insulation - much metal and little rubber. With a great love of detail, he described the effect: "The skin bursts, but with stronger beatings, the muscles and the bones will also be shot to hell". (Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl)

Tempel took a cable and beat this man terribly. Later, when he thought that he still had not beaten him enough, he also kicked him. He beat him until the man did not have the strength to get up and streams of blood were flowing from his head. Temple shouted: "Carry away this piece of dirt"(Chaim Sendofski)

My friend and I left the block and went to the corner of the roll call area that is near the women' s camp. A little distance away, we saw a piece of bread lying on the ground. My friend bent down to pick up the bread. Temple pulled out a pistol and shot and killed him. (Abraham Rosenfeld)

I remember four men who had hidden in the women' s block. Tempel caught them and drove them out with a pistol in his hand. In the roll call area, where I was lying, he shot two of these people. They remained lying dead in the roll call area. (Moses Berger)

When we returned from our work detail, Kramer found that a father and his son had some excelsior. They found it were they worked. Kramer asked the two what they wanted the excelsior for. They answered: "We want to make pillows with it. "Kramer claimed that they were saboteurs and that they had stolen the excelsior from packages. He kicked and beat both of them, the father and the son. He beat them with his fists and he kicked them with his feet. Both collapsed in the roll call area as a result of the beatings they had received. (Moses Rutzaisky)

Whenever a work detail returned from night shift, Kramer sorted out the sick people. They had to get completely undressed . ... When he found that a prisoner was wearing two shirts, he beat him horribly.(Riva Levi)

Without any reason whatsoever, Kramer beat up some prisoners during roll call. He beat them in a cynical ad sarcastic manner. One prisoner collapsed, but that wasn' t enough for Kramer. He kicked him in the abdomen with his jackboots. One prisoner who had been mistreated in this manner spent a few days in the block for sick people, then he died. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

It happened in the vicinity of the roll call area. I was just passing by. Camp commander Förschner held something in his hand which looked like an iron bar, and he beat a prisoner with it with full force. He hit him in every part of his body. The man suffered inner bleeding, severe bruises, and one of his eyes was enormously swollen. ... The name of the prisoner was Bernstein; he came from Lithuania and died after a short time. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

One time, when we returned from work, Kirsch asked every prisoner if he was sick or not. We were afraid to answer because we foresaw what would happen to us if we stayed in the camp because of sickness. He then beat the prisoners terribly. He kicked them with his feet and beat them with an iron bar. (Riva Levi)

Kirsch not only beat and kicked the prisoners with his fists and feet, he also used sticks and rubber hoses. I saw him beat many prisoners. He beat them so hard that many of the prisoners collapsed. (Dr. Jacob Kaufman)

He beat the old ones, the sick ones, and the weak ones with sadistic pleasure. ... During the first two months, I saw Kirsch every day. I worked in the vicinity of the camp. 18 older people worked here whom Kirsch abused several times each day. After approximately four weeks, 75% of these people were no longer alive because of this abuse. Kirsch beat people with such beastly obsession that he caused them to sustain concussions, severe inner bleeding, and broken bones. (Dr. Selmond Greenberg)

Punishment

It happened in the roll call area. It was the time when all prisoners together with the senior people of each block were called to assemble and a punishment box was brought to the roll call area. A prisoner by the name of Feinberg was laid on this box and beaten on his behind with a wooden club. Kirsch stood by as the senior person of the block administered the beating. If the man had not beaten his fellow prisoner hard enough, he himself would have wound up on the punishment box. The wooden club was eight to ten feet long and had a thickness of three to four inches. (Dr. Jacob Kaufman)

The SS- man with the truncheon worked my friend over. With every blow my friend' s intestines emptied out more of their meager contents.(Sam Berger)

Punishments consisted of beatings, incarceration, and deprivation of food. The people who were punished often died as a result of the punishment. (Ladislaus Ervin-Deutsch)

As a punishment he had to stand for hours with a potato in his mouth and his hands tied behind his back. (Sam Berger)

The double barbed-wire fence was charged with electricity. And when prisoners did anything wrong, they had to stand between the two fences. They were already very weak ... they locked them in there and when they got weaker, they touched the fence and then - then they were dead. When you drove by the camp, you always saw five, ten, or fifteen of them hanging in the fence. (Anni Gabler)

Five prisoners made foot- rags out of a blanket, and they were hanged in the roll call area of Camp I. At that time, I was working in the kitchen, and I saw Kirsch and Kramer drive these five men out of the potato cellar. (Riva Levi)

Baruch was still a mere child when they hanged him here. He looked younger than his eighteen years because he was emaciated from many months of hunger, hard work, and beatings. His crime? He took his lice-infested blanket with him when he marched off to work. He had wrapped it around his body underneath his prison pajamas in order to protect himself from the fierce cold which was permeating his emaciated body. The camp commander turned the hanging into a spectacle. All prisoners were assembled to watch even though this meant freeing them from several hours of work. The commander even brought Baruch' s mother from a neighboring camp to watch the spectacle. How did he know that the mother was in Camp I? Perhaps Baruch begged for mercy because of his mother. Or perhaps the mother found out about it and begged for mercy on behalf of her child. The spectacle did not turn out as the commander had expected because Baruch climbed on the scaffold with great courage even though his mother was convulsed with pain. (Levi Shalit)

I was there when - on a winter day - three people were hanged in the roll call area because they had cut up prison blankets ... I also had such foot rags in my shoes. It was certainly ironic that one person gets hanged for it and the other stands there and watches. (Louis Braude)

Initially the prisoner doesn' t look when he is ordered to the roll call area in order to watch the punishment of some group. He can' t bear the sight of people who are being sadistically tortured, the spectacle of fellow prisoners who have to go up and down in the dirt for hours and are dictated the tempo for this exercise by beatings. Days or weeks later he feels differently. Early in the morning, still in the dark, he stands with his work detail ready to march away; then he suddenly hears screaming, looks and sees one of his fellow prisoners being beaten to the ground, lifted back up, and beaten back down again. Why? Because he has a fever, which came on in the middle of the night so that he could not have his fever checked and call in sick in time. Now he is being punished for the fruitless attempt to be registered as sick so that he will not have to march to an outside work site. The prisoner who witnesses this does not look away anymore; already made insensitive, he has no problem watching. (Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

The selection

We had a general roll call, and all prisoners had to line up in the roll call area. We were divided into two categories, those of us who were healthy and those who were sick. The healthy ones had to step to the right and the sick eons to the left. (Chaim Cylberzweig)

There was a kind of "total selection" which included everyone except the higher officials among the prisoners. Slowly the semi- naked prisoners filed by the SS-doctor. It was a cold day, but there was no wind, so that one didn' t freeze too much even with one' s upper body bare. ... Slowly and steadily the line of prisoners moved down the slight incline of the camp street toward the man whom we accepted as the visible manifestation of our fate. ... Now only a few yards separate me from him. It is deadly quiet, even the SS- doctor did not speak but - like the prototype of personified fate, Dr. Mengele in Auschwitz - he limited himself to spare gestures to divide the prisoners into Plus and Minus. (Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl)

One had to undress completely and even take off one' s shoes if one still was allowed to have any. Then there came some captain and conducted the "selection." He made one person stand on the right, another on the left. He marked a whole group with a stamp, pointed to an old dilapidated barracks building and sent us in. That was the mortuary.(Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

Everyone had to let down their pants, and then we were examined by some SS- men whom I had never seen before. Many from our group had to leave us. They made them stand in a different corner . . . and when we returned , we learned that several trucks had shown up and taken them all away. Nobody knew where. But we could be certain that they were all killed. (Sam Berger)

Medical care

At the end, there wasn' t any medical care in the camp, not even in theory. (Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl)

Life in the sick bay was hard. The people here were mere living skeletons and suffered from open and infected wounds. Every day, dozens died. (Moshe Prusak)

Krankhajt iz gewen erger wi der tojt. Wer is gewen krank- - iz gewen szojn umnojttik. ... A kranker heftlin iz behandelt geworn erger fun a hunt (Sickness was worse than death. A person who was sick, was therefore useless. A sick prisoner was treated worse than a dog.(Henryk Goldring)

There was almost no treatment with medications. When the camp was still a work camp, the camp doctors asked us to bring back from the construction site the paper from cement sacks. These paper sacks were used to dress wounds. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

We finagled some coal, but we didn' t use it as heating fuel. We ate it because we were told that coal stops diarrhea. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

... in addition everyone had severe diarrhea. I was lucky to invent a medicine for it which was composed of bread, butter, and silver nitrate. (Dr. Istvan Nagel)

Every once in a while, I received a call from the barracks with orders to come to the sick bay in order to pick up freshly arrived medicine for my quarantine section- - once it was five, another time ten tablets of counterfeit aspirin or cardiazol, and this was intended for several days and fifty patients. (Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

Our "infirmary" consisted of three barracks buildings that were set to the side. There the misery and the stench were so enormous as if cholera were rampant. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

The sick people were in terrible condition, most of them with wounds full of pus. To help them I cut their hair to the skin, and in doing so, I removed clumps of pus. (Dr. Schmuel Mittelmann)

There was no SS- doctor who offered any help whatsoever in the camp. Nevertheless, operations were performed in the camp and even amputations of legs. The place where this was accomplished was the dirt floor of one of the earth huts. I don' t know whether the patients received any kind of anesthesia - I never had strong enough nerves to watch. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

After Kaufering IV had been declared a "Krankenlager" (camp for the sick) , none of the prisoners were allowed to have clothing. Everyone there was sick and had to lie naked on his wool blanket. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

We were lying naked under lice-infested blankets, and our sides were rubbed raw from the hard boards we were lying on. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

In six to seven days, the boards he was lying on had rubbed his tailbone raw. Even he did not get any straw or his bedding. A huge wound formed at his tailbone, and this man lay in his place, emaciated like a skeleton, helpless, with open wounds that began to spread on his back and were wider than a hand. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

Scabies was a very common affliction in camp Kaufering IV. In normal life this is a childhood illness, but in the concentration camp it was deadly. Scabies spread terribly among the sick prisoners who were forced to lie naked and close together under their blankets. There was no treatment for scabies. Such treatment would have been so useful in the camp - but nothing! (Dr. Norbert Fried)

I especially remember one case. It was the Czech dentist Dr. Georg Sachs. He came from Camp XI. An SS-man had shot him in the stomach. Since they had no surgery instruments whatsoever in Camp XI, six Jewish doctors brought him to our camp. The operation took place around midnight or 1:00 a. m. , and the patient survived. He died later, when every patient with typhoid died. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

Whenever someone got sick, had a finger torn off or something like that, or when someone had a foot that was frozen - they sent him to Camp IV for the sick. There he would die of typhoid. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

As is well known, in the winter and spring of 1945 all prisoners got sick with typhoid. Aside from the high mortality rate among the weakened prisoners who were insufficiently housed, received no medicine and no care, and had to work very hard until the last, typhoid had some very unpleasant side effects: a insuperable distaste for any food (which represented an additional mortal risk) and terrible bouts of delirium. (Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

They staggered around with swollen feet and empty eyes until they collapsed, and then their stiff bodies were tossed into the nearby pits. (Zwi Katz)

At night, unconscious skeletons staggered around in the camp like ghosts, slowly as in a haunted castle, and in their unconsciousness, they searched for their relatives and friends who had died long ago. Many of them froze to death, and some of them wanted to join their relatives in the mortuary bunker. They had to be restrained. The sickness was very contagious because we were full of lice. They sucked our blood, and in the process they infected us with the blood of the sick people. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

I got sick (typhoid? ) and was no longer able to work. Together with other sufferers I was quarantined in one of the earth bunkers. After 24 hours, I was assumed to be dead and was thrown on a heap of corpses. This heap of corpses was located at a distance of some 100 yards from the quarantine bunker, and the corpses were burned every morning. Because of the cold, I regained consciousness during the night and recognized where was. I was able to free myself from under the cold corpses and to crawl through the snow back to my own earth bunker.(Elias Godinger)

The number of deaths grew, and a strong person could have lifted one of the corpses with one hand; they were that light. (Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

During the outbreak of typhoid in Kaufering, we had approximately 25 dead people per day.(Dr. Norbert Fried)

Tog teglech zaijnen gesztorbn 30- 40 und 50 jidn, S' zaijen gestorben alt und jung! (Day after day 30, 40, and 50 Jews died. They died both old and young! (Hendryk Goldring)

Death and dying

The hopelessness of the situation; the danger of dying any day, hour, or minute; the nearness of the death of others - the majority - made it simply a foregone conclusion that the thought of suicide occurred to almost everyone, even if only for a short time.(Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl)

Suicide was nothing unusual, it happened daily. Many people died when they ran into the [ electrified ] barbed wire...(Gisela Stone)

Seventeen people hanged themselves in the camps, five here in our camp, and the next day I heard about the others ... one of them was from our block. In the morning, when the command "lights up" came and the electricity was turned on, we were startled to see the cold body hanging in the earth hut.(Dr. A. Jehuda Garai)

At dawn, we took the dead bodies to the roll call area and laid them in front of the "Bude," the guard house. The guards counted the dead and those who had stayed alive to make sure that the count was correct. (Levi Shalit)

For the dead prisoners in camp Kaufering IV, there was a special work detail. ... The task of this detail was to bury the 20, 25, or 30 people who died each day. Since this was the only possibility for me to get out of the camp, I volunteered for this detail on March 21, the first day of spring. The naked corpses were placed on a hand cart. The gold teeth had already been removed. This was a special task for one of the prisoners- - a dentist. The teeth were broken out of the mouths of the dead people under the supervision of an SS- guard. ... The burial detail left the camp every day - 15-20 corpses and more. It was a rule to have as many prisoners on the detail as there were corpses. (Dr. Norbert Fried)

The corpses that had accumulated in the course of a week were buried in groups of ten to twelve in one grave. ... The corpses were transported in the same little hand cart as the bread and the rest of the provisions. (Sam Berger)

At first they were put in the mortuary. That was a very small house - a hut. The dead bodies were undressed and the gold teeth were removed. ... Two days after my father died, they ordered a group of ten people including myself to remove the dead bodies from the mortuary hut and toss them into a mass grave. My father was among them. Fortunately, I did not have the task to throw the dead people into the little cart; I was only one of those who pushed the cart. (Louis Braude)

I, a child of 13 years, was forced every day to help two other workers to remove the dead bodies and bury them on the grounds of the camp. What I saw was shocking! (Moshe Prusak)

I saw the mass graves, 10 to 12 corpses in one pit, and they lay one on top of another. (Sam Berger)

... and then we looked down into the pit ... The dead prisoners were blue, you could see every vein under their skin. Those who had their arms stretched out, they had in their under arm hair - there were clumps of lice in them - and they were emaciated down to a skeleton, but they had no clothes on and lay naked down there ... This was a gruesome sight, something like that I could never see again. (Franz Rech)

We opened two of the pits with corpses in them. We found corpses piled five deep and in a row of thirty; the pit was twelve feet wide. We found between 3,000 and 4,000 dead bodies in each of the two pits. ... The arms and legs of the dead bodies were intertwined to make the best possible use of the space. I remember that the physician (Major Larsen) examined several of the dead bodies, and he said that the arms and legs of some corpses were broken when they were crammed into the pit. (John E. Barnett, Captain der US-Army)

Reality is much worse than a realistic story or poem. Even a Dante would not be able to describe this hell in which the Jews were murdered in the most cruel manner, after these unlucky victims had been robbed of everything and were not even allowed to keep their names, their hair, and their teeth. Even the imagination of this giant of literature would not have been sufficient to develop an image of this hell which the Nazis created. (Elias Godinger, 25.Januar 1992)

John E. Barnett, Captain der US-Army, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Sara Bentar/Anne Cohen/G. u. L. Hasson, ehem. KZ-Häftlinge Kaufering II
Moses Berger, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Sam Berger, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III und IV
Louis Braude, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I
Chaim Cylberzweig, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering VIII, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Ladislaus Ervin-Deutsch, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III
Prof. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III
Dr. Norbert Fried, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Anni Gabler, ehem. Bahnhofsangestellte; Zeitzeugin
Zew Garfinkel, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I
Dr. A. Jehuda Garai, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV
Elias Godinger, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III und VIII
Henryk Goldring, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering II
Dr. Selmond Greenberg, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Otto Greenfield, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III
Dr. Ivan Hacker, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III
Dr. Jacob Kaufman, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Miroslav Karny, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III
Zwi Katz, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I
Schmul Kuczinski, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Riva Levy, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I, Zeugin im großen Dachauprozeß
Prof. Herbert Thomas Mandl, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering III und IV
Dr. Albert Menasche, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV und VII
Dr. Schmuel Mittelmann, ehem. KZ-Häftling , jedoch Lager ungeklärt.
Dr. Istvan Nagel, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering, jedoch Lager ungeklärt.
Zdenek Ornest, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV und VII
Moshe Prushak, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I
Franz Rech, Landwirt, Zeitzeuge
Abraham Rosenfeld, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Moses Rutzaisky, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Chaim Sendofski, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering IV, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Levi Shalit, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering II
Gisela Stone, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I und XI
Karl Stroh, Konstruktionsingenieur der Firma Moll, Zeuge im großen Dachauprozeß
Maria Tuszkay, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I
Mark Weinberg, ehem. KZ-Häftling Kaufering I, II, IV und XI

© 2013 bei Manfred Deiler; Alle Rechte der Verbreitung durch Film, Funk und Fernsehen, fotomechanische Wiedergabe, Tonträger aller Art, auszugsweisen Nachdruck oder Einspeicherung und Rückgewinnung in Datenverarbeitungsanlagen aller Art, sind vorbehalten.