From the View of an S.S. Officer
This whole situation started out simple enough. The men and myself first moved into a little town called Sighet. The people there seemed so naive. None of them realized what was about to happen; none of them realized what happened when the Germans move into town.
We first started by imprisoning the officials and made all the Jews were yellow stars. The Jews were then moved into a very small ghetto and cramped quarters. It was obvious that none of them had heard of the horror of the concentration camps and what awaited them once they left the safety of their homes. Some of the officers and I tried to be nice to the Jews because I, personally, hated carrying around this gun. Once you were in the camp the site of these officers holding these weapons struck fear into the hearts of all in the camp.
We had finally gotten all of the people of the town of Sighet onto the train and had started the journey towards Auschwitz. The condition on the train is something I don’t think I could have stood for. The Germans were put in charge of the train in the middle of the journey. The officers were told to collect any valuables from the people on the train and if they refused to yield their valuables, they were to be shot. As I have said I hated carrying around this gun but I did have a job to do and I was willing to follow orders if need be. Luckily I never had to unload a single shot on that train. Some people on the train were in very bad shape. They were hallucinating and many of them simply couldn’t take the heat and the smell any longer. They were beginning to go crazy. The officers had a meeting and we were told to tell them that they were all just going to a labor camp and the families would be kept together. The lying was also a normal part of my job. Little did they know that they were going to a terrible place in which the males and females would be separated and all of the people had a slim chance of even making past the inspections.
Before arriving at Auschwitz we came to a “filtering” camp called Birkenau. The men and women were separated and taken to separated and taken to the barracks. I hear the prisoners talking sometimes. Some of them have been in this camp for a while and some of them are friends to those who are just arriving. These prisoners know that only the youngest and strongest survive. I know some of them have to be lying about their age. Boys that are barely 15 claiming they are 18, but they only want what everybody else at the camps want; to stay alive.
Some prisoners and myself were transferred to a camp named Buna. It was a four-hour walk to the camp and once we got there the prisoners were required to undergo more medical exams to make sure they are still fit to work. The dentist even went as far as to remove the gold crowns in prisoners’...