Oral History

Miso (Michael) Vogel describes the brutality of SS guards towards new arrivals at Auschwitz

Miso's family lived in Topol'cany. The Hlinka Guard (Slovak fascists) took over the town in 1939. In 1942, Miso was deported to the Slovak-run Novaky camp. Later in the year, he was deported to Auschwitz. He was forced to labor in the Buna works and then in the Birkenau "Kanada" detachment, unloading incoming trains. As the Allies advanced in late 1944, prisoners were transferred to camps in Germany. Miso escaped during a death march from Landsberg and was liberated by US forces.


His full name was Hans Lipski. He's a Latvian, Latvian national. He was an SS guard in Auschwitz. He worked the railroad sidings where transports came. He was a murderer. He was a killer. To him, I...I remember, not only him but people like him, when transports came...transports came...we would sometime unload the children, and take them off the train, off the cattle car. I remember one of the boys holding a little child, a little baby, and he takes out his pistol and shoots the baby in the...in the prisoner's hand. There was another one, Unterscharfuehrer [Sergeant] Otto. There was a Graf, and there was another one whose name was Hans. Hans would whistle...uh...uh...operas, and at the same time would murder these poor people coming off the train. Just right on the tracks. Right on the railroad siding. This guy would sing and...and murder. I...I seen him once kick a kid like a soccer ball, when the kid was crying. Kicked it from his mother's arm. And Hans Lipski was a guard. He was not an officer, he was just a guard. A murderer, like most of them were. And most of these people, when they guarded...those who guarded the...the...the tracks and railroad siding, would be drinking before they got there so that they were fortified, so they could do...do...do this job better. That was their ration, it was this booze. And, and I remember they...they all had flasks with whiskey in it and they would just drink enough to...so they could be practically immune to anything that was going on.

  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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