Travel Journal May 2018


Reisebericht von Roslyn Eldar , Melbourne ( Australien ) ihres Besuchs der Muna Lübberstedt am 4. Mai 2018

ahead. We were surrounded by forest. It was still. We walked in

freedom, safe. Our walk was recorded on camera.

The prisoners’ routine was daily roll call at 5 am, followed by breakfast

consisting of a brownish broth called “coffee" and 4 slices of bread per day.

Later as the war progressed and supplies diminished it was 4 slices of bread

per week. The prisoners then walked to work in step, singing in German,

guarded by SS female guards. The walk to the production area was 1.5

kilometres, and to bunker storage area was 5 kilometres. The walk during

winter was difficult especially for those women who only had wooden clogs for

shoes. Lunch was a soup at the factory. The work shifts were 10 to 12 hrs and

the prisoners worked day and night shifts too. After their return to the

barracks in the evening, there was another roll call followed by dinner of bread

and maybe some sausage or quark. My grandmother Berta Ruttner, had a job

as cook for the SS in the kitchen, so she supplemented her family’s meals by

stealing potatoes to help them survive. She did this risking her own life.

Luftwaffe paid 2 Marks a day for each unskilled labourer and the SS received

this “pay”.

The work of the women involved filling, assembling, packing and loading

bombs for Luftwaffe, which resulted in serious damage to their health. The

chemical fumes turned their hair red, and many of the women were struggling

with lung problems.

My aunt, alive in Melbourne today had the job of pouring toxic bomb fluid into

bombs without protective clothing. After Liberation she had surgery in Prague

in the Bulovka hospital for a perforated lung. She then spent approximately 2

years in the Tatra mountains recovering, in a private clinic called “Villa Dr.

Szontagh” all paid for by her uncle Joseph Slyomovic.

Mindu also spent 6 months in a clinic with lung issues post- war.

MIndu and Barbara commented that although they were still afraid and

exhausted from their hard-physical labour, starved, beaten and humiliated,

the selection for work from Auschwitz had saved their lives. The ammunition

factory was not an extermination camp, and the air did not reek from the

stench of burning flesh and bones. The camp had, at times, a human face they

said, as some of the SS female guards were kind and tried to help the 500

Jewish female prisoners


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