Oral History

Samuel Gruber describes public hangings and beatings in the Lublin-Lipowa camp

A Polish soldier, Samuel was wounded in action and taken by Germany as a prisoner of war. As the war continued, he and other Jewish prisoners received increasingly harsh treatment. Among the camps in which he was interned was Lublin-Lipowa, where he was among those forced to build the Majdanek concentration camp. In 1942, he escaped from the Germans, spending the rest of the war as the leader of an armed partisan group.


If someone run away, they caught them. Usually they caught. They caught. They caught two of them and they took out the whole camp there, one night and they were hanging them publicly like everybody should see. They...they woke us up in middle of the night and everybody came out naked almost and er it it wasn't even...they told them to take off. Everybody was half naked outside and was in February, I think er...the beginning of March, cold. Terribly. And we...a lot of er people got pneumonia. And we caught cold. And on top of this when we...they told us to go back to the barracks, they were staying in the door and whoever walked in they beat them how much they could. Every one of us, they were...we all got a beating. I was just behind a man who start crying, "Don't hit me. I have...I have [at] home children, and a wife. Don't hit me." The German said, "Yes, I have a child, a wife and children too, and I have to stay here with you and watch you, you stinking Jew." And he hit him more even. When he hit him no more, I jumped over and he didn't touch me.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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