Oral History

Ludmilla Page describes conditions in Oskar Schindler's munitions factory in Brünnlitz

Ludmilla was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Kishinev, Romania. She and her mother, a physician, were living in Poland when the Germans invaded on September 1, 1939. They were taken to Krakow. Ludmilla was forced to live in the Krakow ghetto; her mother was sent to the Warsaw ghetto. Ludmilla worked in a factory at the Plaszow labor camp for a businessman who was a friend of the German industrialist Oskar Schindler. In October 1944, Schindler attempted to save some Jewish workers by relocating them to a munitions factory in Bruennlitz, in the Sudetenland. Ludmilla was among those on Schindler's list to be relocated. She and about 300 other women were detained briefly in Auschwitz before reaching Bruennlitz. There, some of the workers sought to sabotage the production of munitions. Ludmilla was liberated in early May 1945.

Transcript

From the beginning, Schindler tried to do everything possible for us, to make our life more comfortable. We didn't have very many clothes. I mean, we didn't have any clothes, only what we had on. So he managed, I think, he allowed our men to steal some wool from a neighboring factory, which was kind of already, empty, I mean, you know, they, they were not working anymore, probably people left it. And, so our men got that wool, and they made also on the machines in the factory knitting needles, and the woman started to knit, sweaters and, little, uh, mufflers and so on, you know. So then, men wanted to smoke. They, I don't know how, but they got hold of some, next door also from, some onions and they were burn, they were really smoking the onion leaves, skins. Schindler, as far as food is concerned, all the surrounding areas were being slowly evacuated, so it was very difficult even for the Germans to get the food but somehow he got food. We were, we were not...we were always hungry, but not like in Auschwitz, you know. We were hungry, but with, with hope for a better tomorrow. We, he, he tried to always, give us a little piece of bread. I had a, a bunk mate who was a, really a master in cutting the pieces of bread. She cut it, I believe, in 13 very thin slices -- piece was like this. So I used to give my husband about eight, and I ate the five, because for me it was enough. He was bigger than I was.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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