Working conditions

“You had to run under a hail of very painful blows to fetch a spade and a pickax, run again to gather in small groups, run some more to reach your designated spot and start working immediately…

The blows doubled…they rained down thick and fast. Everybody took turns being in the wrong spot so that the same guy wasn’t always the one to get it. Alex, Fernandel’s [SS Ehrmanntraut’s

nickname] dog, was often in on the fun. Following orders, he bit all the calves within his reach, except the kapos’. When the guards would break a pickax or spade handle across our backs, they would deftly and quickly replace it with another one and start all over again or, rather, continue.”

“The snow was a meter or even a meter and half deep in winter. We spent whole days shoveling snow: we put it in wheelbarrows.”