Been everywhere, done everything

Faber shares Holocaust horror

by Nhia Vang

UT Managing Editor

November 17, 2004 12:00 AM

David Faber received a standing ovation Friday night from a crowd of over 270 people that filled Fretwell, 100. […]

The 77-year-old Faber, a survivor of eight concentration camps during World War II, began the night pointing to a picture he had posted on a presentation board. […]


He also talked about how before his family left the city in fear, there was an incident where several grenades had been thrown into their apartment. […]

One day while his parents were at work, the Germans came to his uncle’s house. Faber stated the only reason he survived that attack was because he used his dead aunt’s body that had been infiltrated with bullets as a shield.

The Faber realized that the Nazi regime was close. […]


Finally one day, the situation seemed to lighten for the family. The eldest of the children, Romek suddenly appeared at the door of the house — a ray of hope for the family. Romek had apparently disappeared for a time before the family moved to the city mysteriously. Faber later explained that his brother had been a prisoner of war for special reasons. Because of the results of the Geneva Convention at the time, he was released, and all Romek could do was run.


In the residence where they had been relocated, it had been easier for the Nazis to pin point where Jews were, and though the Fabers had been lucky up to this point, the Nazis came again in the night, sending random bullets into the apartment. After crawling out of the hiding place in the wall, Faber remembers his father fallen from the roof with bullets in his body.

Three days later, Romek attempted to remove Faber from the family for the sake of his safety, especially since he was the youngest in the family. However, in the midst of hiding, they were caught and taken to the Nazi headquarters where their family had previously registered.

While being held, Faber watched as the Nazis slowly tortured his brother. First, the Nazis put a red hot coal in his eye, followed by prying his mouth wide open with a clamp to a point that his jaw was broken and his skin torn. Then, they took out his tongue, and Faber watched his brother die.

Faber was next in line, he explained to his audience. Then, he pointed out that today, he only has two real teeth as a result of the torture from that day. Finally, he was released when the Nazis realized Faber was probably too young to answer any of their questions.

Faber was then thrown down a flight of stairs, which broke some of his rib bones before he was finally taken back home. Upon seeing Faber return in such a condition, his mother began crying and questioning Faber about Romek. Faber lied to his mother, telling her that Romek died a quick death. His intention was to protect her, but the shock of the news caused a heart attack that killed her.


Faber continued to speak to the attendees of the event, especially on the first time he entered the Auschwitz concentration camp. […] He even recalled meeting Anne Frank — a young girl whose family remained in hiding for several years during the war before they were found and finally sent to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen.