Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ella Baker - May 11, 2011


So first they, from the ghetto they took you in, in, in the, the box car on the train to...


To uh, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Yeah, yeah.

And you were with your mom and dad?

Yeah, and then they separated us.


Uh-huh. So what happened is, the little I know was happening, when they separated us I rushed back, wanted to go with them. And then the, the Gestapo throw me back. He could, he could have said you stupid woman if you want to go and be burned, go. I didn't know what was happening, I just wanted to be with them. So, that was Bashert, "destined", if you believe in that.

Mm-hm, mm-hm.

You know.

Mm-hm. So, you were separated and you never saw your parents again, they were killed?

Never heard...


And never saw again.

Ay-ay-ay. Alright, so they, your now, they take you to the barrack the, the 1,000 of you and they're gonna be, you're gonna be uh, killed as well, um...

Yeah, this...

A company came to take...


Take 200 of you for work?

Yeah, it's called Vernichtungslager from German interpret the destruction.


Uh, camp, uh.

Yeah. So what--where did they--what was uh, the 200 of you, where did you go?

What kind of uh, a factory?

Yeah, that was an airplane factory.

Airplane factory.

A airplane factory. And, uh...

Which was part of Auschwitz?



And being me, I more likely remember something what make me feel better...


This is my...


The way I, they call me a positive thinker, here. I, I, some people can't see the sunshine when it's there, but I am creating the sunshine where there is none.


That's the person that I am. And this is helping, will help me to survive, you know. This is a part of survivorship, you know. So uh, so um, so what, what happened is that at that camp there was a big, big kettle for, for the irons and whatever, what we supposed to do there with hot water. And that bath it was a gift and we risked our life and on this slide in got into the kettle to have a bath.


They could have shoot us.

Yeah, yeah.

You know, that there must have been a touch of Schindler there, there no thinking because they saw how much we want to have a bath and they made arrangement that every Sunday they marched us in to a regular shower.


Yes. So uh, this was, this, this uh, this was what I, what I am remembering.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You see the positive of things?

Yes, it is, is not programmed what I, how I want to see, I am not a make believer...


Put my head under the, under the...


In the sand.


But uh, that's the way I, when, when there is something drastic, I say oh what else, always I look for a balance.


And in everything there is a balance if you want to recognize it. And sometimes you don't want to talk about it, but there is something to hold on to, I hold on to.

Uh, a couple que...questions, you remember the name of this factory where you were?


This ammunition factory?

Uh, ???, ??? something, I, I got some papers, I should have prepared some papers about...


???, I don't know um, it escapes me.

Okay, but there was, it was an airplane factory--no, no...

Airplane parts, yeah.

Airplane parts, okay, airplane parts.


© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn