Auschwitz Survivor Baffled By Bottle Message

The message was found this week at Auschwitz, by a group of workers, who were demolishing a wall. The wall used to be part of the concentration camp in Poland and it is the place where the workers found the hand-written message, signed by 7 inmates, of whom only two survived.

Albert Veissid, who is now 84 years old and living in Allauch in south-eastern France, was also one of the seven prisoners, one of the two survivors. He was very touched by the discovery, which he considered to be a mystery. The man said he can still remember everything from the camp, from “A to Z” and that as he speaks, he can still see the images of Auschwitz, right in front of his eyes. “But this bottle business is an enigma. The biggest surprise of my life,” said Veissid.

Before he got arrested by collaborationist French authorities in 1943 and sent to Poland in 1944, he was a fairground worker. In the message were listed the signatures of seven prisoners, who were working on an air raid shelter. Six of the boys were from Poland, while Mr Vessied was French. They were aged 18 to 20 years old.

The message was found inside the mortar of a wall belonging to a building, which was used as a warehouse by the Nazi guards from the camp, in the Second World War. The building is now part of a local high school, in the southern Polish town of Oswiecim. Mr Veissid remembered meeting the other six prisoners when he was working as a builder at the camp, the ABC News reports.

“It’s true I did them some favours. There was food supplied upstairs and they used to steal tubs of marmalade, which I would hide downstairs,” said the man. He believes the men included his name in the message, as a way of thanking him for what he had done for  them.

According to the Auschwitz museum, more details about the message will be made public soon. Mr Veissid insisted that he doesn’t like to talk about his experiences at Auschwitz and that he refused to give speeches in schools, however,the story of the message surly intrigued him, since he decided to take part this time. ” It’s a revolution for me,” he said.

Albert Veissid, 84, was born in Istanbul, in 1924, but his family moved to Lyon, France, when he was a baby.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE