Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau

And your mother wanted to take things. Did she take stuff?


What did she take?

The shmattes that we have. I mean, there wasn't anything to take special, you know. They believe a lot in ???, and uh, and uh, ???. ??? uh, bags and cookware, you know. We were so poor, I says, "I can't afford it to buy here. Why we going to have it over there?" Because it was created there you know, it was, it was so cheap.

So she took what, pots and pans with her?

Yeah, they thought you know, they're going to the condominium.

A new place to live in Poland.

In Poland.

Did they give you Polish z?otys?



You kidding? They took all our clothes. They--we had a machine, I remember the machine up and down, you know. And we were smelling already the rat. We don't know what it was, no matter if you are really psychic, or you can tell--you still don't know what the other person has in mind.

They gave some people Polish z?otys to make them think they were going to be living in Poland.

They didn't give me anything. All I know that I'm staying there in the line and I didn't have a piece of bread to put in my mouth to have my number uh, written on my arm.

W...when they took you from the house...


they marched you through the streets, to where?

Yeah, we were in line. Like you, you, you see when they buy tickets here for any football.

But there weren't tickets for the train, were there?

Uh, no. The, the uh, well, we walked all the way there.

You walked to the train s...


the train station.

yeah. Because there was no communication over there to go.

Did any--were there any non-Jews on the streets when you walked by them, do you remember?

It was empty. Everybody wanted to hide. And you couldn't.

So you walked together through the streets.

Uh, yeah, like uh, in line, you know.

Single line, did you hold...

No, not single. Four, five people.

Four abreast. Did you hold hands did you...

We didn't hold hands.

talk to each other?

We have no uh, I say it then and I'm saying it now. We were very weak people, you know. We didn't have to stay in line. We have to--we had to fight and nobody did. Because I have the thing that we, we get there we'll be dead. Might as well we should put up a fight.

Did anybody fight?

Listen, when I read like this you know, you hear this. What is there to fight? You're start uh, starting to dread here. Everybody was looking for something. It's like when I came in America. Even that I had my room, even in Greece. My room was a, a, a unit like this and it was three neighbors. So you get up, you're always have somebody in the kitchen. Uh, count, there was a twelve people you know, the four families. Uh, ev...it, it wasn't easy, you know. So when they tell you they're giving you a condominium, they're giving you work, what else you want? It's something that you don't have here.


We did believe them, yeah.

You believed them and so you walked to the train thinking well, it'll be better than this.

Right, it will better.

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