Oral History

Hana Mueller Bruml describes forced labor at Sackisch, a subcamp of Gross-Rosen

In 1942, Hana was confined with other Jews to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where she worked as a nurse. There, amid epidemics and poverty, residents held operas, debates, and poetry readings. In 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz. After a month there, she was sent to Sackisch, a Gross-Rosen subcamp, where she made airplane parts at forced labor. She was liberated in May 1945.


First they took...took us to a classroom and taught us how to use a micrometer. I knew how to use a micrometer but we had to do that, and they wanted to know if we know, uh, fractions and things like that. Uh, the man who taught us was a German meister, you know, a...a foreman, and, um, we were in...we were, like, in school benches, and I...you know, we were curious. I looked at the school bench and in one of the school benches I found a core of an apple. Somebody ate an apple and left the core. I didn't care who ate the apple. I ate the core. I mean, my goodness, that was fruit. One day--we were there only a few days--but one day the master said to five of us, "Look, if you would like to take a bath, I will let you take a shower." Now that was very dangerous, too, for him to do that. And he took five of us and he took [us] into the shower room and let us shower. Now, mind you, we didn't have a towel. We didn't have a soap. We had to put the clothes on we had. But just to be under water and to be able to shower was such a relief, so we went there. It took years and years before I finally allowed myself to remember why he did it. He stood in the corner and watched five young women naked taking a shower.

  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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