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Old Lamus


Oscar Schindler with Nazi Officers

Another time at Schindler's factory, during an inspection by Amon Goeth and his SS officers, the attention of the visitors was caught by the sight of the old Jew, Lamus, who was pushing a barrow too slowly across the factory courtyard, apparently utterly depressed. Goeth asked why the man was so sad, and it was explained to him that Lamus had lost his wife and only child a few weeks earlier during the liquidation of the ghetto. Goeth ordered his adjutant Grün to execute the Jew "so that he might be reunited with his family in heaven," then he guffawed and the SS officers moved on.

Someone from the metal hall rushed up to Oscar Schindler's office and alerted him. Oscar came roaring down the stairs and reached the yard just as the SS man ordered Lamus: "Slip your pants down to your ankles and start walking." Dazed, the old man did as he was told.

Schindler called out desperately:"You can't do that. You are interfering with all my discipline .." The SS officer just sneered. Schindler continued, blurting out the words:"The morale of my workers will suffer. Production for der Vaterland will be affected." The SS adjudant took out his pistol, ready to shoot.

"A bottle of schnapps if you don't shoot him", Schindler almost screamed, no longer thinking rationally.

"Stimmt!" To Schindler's astonishment, the SS man complied. Grinning, the officer put the gun away and strolled arm in arm with the shaken Schindler to the office to collect his bottle of schnapps. And old Lamus, trailing his pants along the ground, continued shuffling across the yard, waiting sickeningly for the bullet in his back that never came.

On another occasion, three SS men walked onto the factory floor without warning, arguing among themselves. "I tell you, the Jew is even lower than an animal," one was saying. Then, taking out his pistol, he ordered the nearest Jewish worker to leave his machine and pick up some sweepings from the floor. "Eat it," he barked, waving his gun. The shivering man choked down the mess. "You see what I mean," the SS man explained to his friends as they walked away. "They eat anything at all. Even an animal would never do that."

 

 

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