“They took me to work in the quarry at Mauthausen. Oh, that was bad. The worst part was that you didn’t know what kind of rock to take. You had to go down stone steps, way down I don’t know how many stone steps, real steep, rocks all over. You pick up a rock, you go up all those stone steps and walk all the way to the camp—a few miles— and put the stone down. In the meantime the SS is all around you. If you took too big a stone you won’t make it. If you take a little stone they beat you; they make you run to the fence and I witnessed that many times. They started to scream, beat you and say, ‘Run!’ Everyone knew if you run to the fence, you’re dead because from the watchtowers they will shoot you and besides the fence is electrified. They beat you so hard you’re practically dead anyway. So the biggest dilemma was what kind of rock to take…
They took a group of us and they sent us by train to Linz II, a satellite camp of Mauthausen to work at Hermann-Goring-Works. The conditions were really bad at Linz II. The longer we were there the worse it got. Hunger- that was the main thing. With every step, you tried to economize your energy. If I was walking I tried to figure what is the shortest way. One step less- everything was an effort. I could hardly walk; I was so weak from hunger.
I saw people, I witnessed this: can you imagine eating a raw dead rat? Naturally they died. They would have died anyway. Some of the non-Jewish Polish and Russian prisoners once in a while were able to get packages from home, so they used to go pick them up. And on the way to the barracks the others would attack them and get away. So they came after one- I saw it. They attacked him and there was granulated sugar there in one package and it spilled into the mud. And after they left I picked up that sugar with the mud and I ate it. There was mud and sugar mixed. That’s as far as I went personally.”