Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Conditions on Train (Continued)

To Auschwitz. What happened?

Uh, it was, uh...

Well, you stopped off a lot then. You must have hit a lot of stops.

Well we--when we stop it took you know, two, three hours to get back e...everybody in place again.

So you kept, everybody kept getting off and then they'd get back on.

And you know, you couldn't come down. It was a, a, a hike you know,


that when uh, I will say 'bout twenty feet a...and more. So when you come down you don't know this falling down is in front of you and a whole bunch will fall and you will roll over those bodies. And they give you so much time for, to do your job and come up. So the old people, they couldn't do that.

So what happened to the old people?

Well, they were thrown in, to, to, to come back. Although my mother wasn't old, but at that time forty years old you were old.

Mm-hm, did anybody get shot?

No. It got, it got killed you know, with the stick.

Oh they beat them.

They beat them to death.

And did you see them being beaten?

Oh yeah, oh yeah. A many times. I was so ??? they, they thought so, because I don't want to be there.

Anybody you knew got beaten to death?

Not from the people I knew, no. Uh, I don't know if you read about, there was a a, Hungarian girl. Her name was--it's like in the movie, this was real. She was in love with this stupid soldier.

With the SS soldier.

Yeah, right. This is real, in the movie. This is, this went on. I mean, it's not a lie.

And what happened to her?

She finally, she knew the end was coming. Uh, she put herself in the electric fence and, uh...

So the train took three weeks to get there. No food?

Well, we, we have food. We packed whatever, you know.

Did she...

Everybody, first thing they packed it was food.

So your mother took some food.

Right. No, it was--they didn't give you nothing to eat.

Water? Did they give you water?

No water.

Buckets, nothing?

Nothing. Nothing. I became a lady, a woman, right then. Of all my mazel.


And I was eighteen. So I thought already uh, that's it. It's the end of my life right there, you know. Uh, I knew too much, even that I was young. Because the life of my parents, I didn't want it to be passed to me. So i...it was very difficult. And you're pouring like it's water. I remember that. Oh God. Ah. It, it, it's something unbelievable. I just can't believe it, you know. Like and now, I was telling my, Jack. Today is just like I'm there. Right there. My whole body is feeling like I'm there.

Why today?


You mean today?

Today, yeah, right. No, no, no, today I feel the same way, is when they won.

You mean these days.


Not this...


this particular...

No, no. I mean like, I, it feels like, uh... Because first of all, I've been in a depression a whole week. This is why... He can't take it to even talk about.

Jack can't?

No, no, my husband. This is why you couldn't come here.

I know.

A...and I says, it's nothing. The more they know it will be, I hope it never happen again. But what you going to do? You uh, you couldn't stop it. Nobody did. And let me tell you one thing, if it wasn't for United States we wouldn't--I wouldn't be here today.

Did people die in the box car?

Oh, many of them! They couldn't get ???, they picked 'em up, they threw them out.

So you, you were in the box car with dead bodies?

There was no fatality, no. Uh, would you like a glass of juice? Life in concentration camp.

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