"This is what happened: Every day we had a count up. During this procedure the SS officers would call up various commands like e.g.: ´We’re looking for 30 tailors, 20 carpenters...´and the people must have raised their hands. Then all of a sudden I heard them calling my number, they called out eight numbers. There were no names there, only numbers. 64401. The command was that I have to come the next morning to the head officer of the camp. Somebody named Höße. You know, I’ve never been much of a hero, I was always scared...of the typhus, of the selection, always scared. Also now, the whole night I was afraid what this man might want from me. In the morning I had to go report myself to him. This was the only building. All others were only barns. I went to the second floor and I’ve read: The head of the concentration camp Rudolph Höß. I knocked on the door. As he opened the door I have jumped straight up and shouted: ´64 401 on your order! ´ that was how you have to announce yourself. No names. He looked at me and said: ´Are you Mr. Burger?´ He called me Mister!!! I nodded. ´And are you a typographer?´ ´Yes,´ I said again. He stood up and told me: ´Mr. Burger (he called me-the prisoner- Mister!) you will leave Birkenau tomorrow and you’ll go to Berlin, you will be working there. Our printing house needs a specialist like you. You will live there freely and you will work there. I expected everything but this. Then he added: ´And I wish you all the best.´ I was free to go now, but I didn’t understand it. Walking down the stairs I kept telling myself: that’s not possible. The Birkenau camp was under the command of the NN =Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog in German language). Nobody was allowed to write and send any letters from the camp. No one must know about this camp. And I was going to Berlin now!"
"And as I passed the gates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp they have turned me into a falsifier! I was an ordinary book printer who was forced to counterfeit 132 million of English pounds or the former Yugoslavia currency. We had to make faked passports, various documents all kinds of espionage stuff. There were 142 typographers from all around the world - The Dutch, Belgians, French, Czechs, Hungarians... But all of them must have been only Jews or at least half Jews. An Aryan was not allowed to come even closer...That’s logical! Who knows such secret, must die."
"Jacobson used to tell me: ´They must never receive any dollars otherwise we would be extending the war.´ we were supposed to be printing out only one million of dollar per day. But our foreman, Jacobson sabotaged it. He was supposed to prepare the gelatin for the photo typing and although the negatives were good, the final print of dollar was not OK. That was the only sabotage that has been done there. Then someone named Krüger came and brought us a message from Himmler who said that if we won’t provide him with dollars within the next five weeks, he will shoot us all. That was just him. After this Jacobson, who made the wrong gelatin on purpose started to prepare good one again. But it was too late. The Russians were already 150 kilometers away from Berlin."
"It was about seven o’clock when the train stopped. We were happy, because the kids were screaming: ´Water, water! There was no water left in the train. The door opened... The whole train was surrounded by armed SS officers. They were shouting at us: ´Off the train, off.´ But we didn’t see any train station. The train stopped in the middle of a field...´Put the packages and luggage on the ramp. (There was a hundred meters long ramp on the field). Then they separated us. That was the very last time I saw my wife. Later some young and handsome man stood in front of us. It was the doctor. We didn’t know it back then, but we know him today...It was doctor Mengele. He talked to us softly, didn’t shout. He said: ´Please, tell me your age, your profession and your health condition.´ He asked those three questions. To those who were over 41 he kindly said: ´Please-go on the left.´ who said that was sick, had a diabetes etc. went also to the left. Here it didn’t matter what age the people were if they were sick. We also had to tell him our occupation. Then we stayed selected there - us, healthy people under 40 years old. There were about 800 people in the whole transportation train and now only about 120 of us stood there. After a while he moved to the women. That was even more tragic. All women with kids and those over 40 went to the left too. Only 59 of them stayed there. We had no idea what that means."
"This SS officer Unterscharführer called: I will deliver one hundred twenty prisoners.´ and he replied: ´What Prisoners? ´ He couldn’t believe it, because we have had hair, we wore clean clothes and shoes, we looked pretty good. Usually prisoners didn’t have any shoes or hair. And he said: ´ Those are not prisoners, who are they? ´ One or two of us jumped forward and showed our sleeves to this armed prisoner saying: ´Look at this, we have numbers here we are the Osvetim prisoners, only the Sonderkommando from Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Let us in! ´ When this armed prisoner saw us he told to the soldier: ´ Open the gate, let them in.´ That was on May 5th at 10.30am. And we were all running, running all the way to the end of the camp. That was our liberation even though the Americans were not there yet."
After my wife died in Auschwitz I had two choices: Either go and touch the barbed wire with 1000 voltage in it and be dead in a second, or stay alive. I chose life, so I can tell everyone what they have done here
Mr. Adolf Burger was born in 1917 in Velka Lomnice town in the Poprad region. He comes from a Jewish family. During his youth he was a member of the Haschomer Hacair Jewish organization and later, as adult, he was a chairman of this association for short time. He is an educated compositor. After the school he shortly worked as a builder and during the years 1937 and 1939 he served in the Czechoslovak army. When the war began he was already working as a compositor in Bratislava, Slovakia. Here he participated in a secret resistance group of young communists. The main task of this group was saving the Slovakian Jews from being transported. Mr. Burger‘s role in the group was to print faked birth certificates. In August of 1942 the whole association was revealed and Mr. Burger and his wife Gisele were arrested and transported to Auschwitz concentration camp. The twenty-two year old Gisele didn’t survived the camp.
Mr. Adolf Burger, who survived the „Auschwitz hell“, was called up to Sachsenhausen, Germany to work as a compositor in 1944. Together with another 130 prisoners he participated in the biggest counterfeit operation in history, which started in Nazi Germany. The operation was designed to weaken the British currency and for the Nazi‘s own financial plotting. Thanks to the disorganizion and confusion of SS officers at the end of the war, most of the counterfeiters became liberated. Originally, the whole group involved in the counterfeiting plan was supposed to be killed. After the liberation of the Ebensee concentration camp, Mr. Burger provided documentation of the Nazi barbarities in the form of pictures he took with a borrowed camera. These pictures were later used in his first publicized edition (1945) about concentration camps. Twenty years after the end of the war he started to work as a journalist and publicized the complete counterfeit operation in book called Des Teufels Werkstatt (The Evil’s workshop). He remains active these days visiting Germany and lecturing in high schools, talking with the students about the holocaust. An Austrian-German movie was released in 2007 named Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters). This movie has been inspired by Mr. Burger’s book and was honored by Oscar as the best International movie. Adolf Burger passed away on December, the 6th, 2016.