Born: 1921, Lodz, Poland
Describes routine at the Ebensee camp [Interview: 1990]
When we came to...to Ebensee, the hunger and the labor and the way especially for us Jews, the way we were treated, we were sure that not one will survive that camp, that this was it. The charge...the man in charge of our block was a professional killer. He enjoyed so much killing people. The...the people who went to the hospitals when they were sick there, hardly one came out alive. The people who were not working, who were in that hospital, Jews received half of the rations that the normal worker received. Non-Jews began the regular rations if they were not too long in that hospital. Uh...we went, I remember, to the shower, in that camp. It was the end of February, the beginning of March. It was still cold. When we came out from the shower, we stood outside I don't know how long. Without clothes, without wiping ourselves off. I would never believe that a person can survive standing in the outside in the wintertime without clothes for so long.
The Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. Leo and his family were confined to a ghetto in Lodz. Leo was forced to work as a tailor in a uniform factory. The Lodz ghetto was liquidated in 1944, and Leo was deported to Auschwitz. He was then sent to the Gross-Rosen camp system for forced labor. As the Soviet army advanced, the prisoners were transferred to the Ebensee camp in Austria. The Ebensee camp was liberated in 1945.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections