While any block leader could kill a prisoner, only the Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin could issue a release from the camp. You could be released only if your parents signed the Deutsche Volksliste. At the beginning even a dozen prisoners would be released at a time. Their names would be called out during a roll-call and they were asked to stand aside. These prisoners never came back to the camp. They went back home, got a job; the Germans considered them harmless. I had nothing against it – let them go home! Are we all to die? If his parents arranged it this way, then let this guy be released. What, he was supposed to die in the camp?
-And your parents?
-My mother pleaded with the SS for me. They told her I didn’t have German blood. The only thing left was to sign the list, but my parents didn’t want to become Volksdeutche and they didn’t sign it. So I stayed in the camp.
-Didn’t you bear a grudge against them for not doing everything possible in order to get their son out of the camp?
-What were they supposed to do? The Germans had taken so many of us… If they released every prisoner, the whole German plan would make little sense. Somebody had to be a prisoner.
-Is this how you explained it to yourself?
-I was naïve because I believed they would let me out one day as well.
-How long did you stay in Dachau?
-Five years. From the first transport until the liberation.