Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Death of Family

What about your family?

Uh, not, not so good, uh...

You got off the train.

Yeah. Then they'd separate us...

They separated you right there.

right then and there. Yeah. They took me and my sister and my dad had uh, the seven-year-old Miriam and my mom had the five-years-old, Anna Rae. They were direct for the crematoria.

And your eleven year old sister. She was eleven?

She was with me.

She managed to stay with you.

Yeah, but she, she was so in love with my parents, you know. She was young. In the meantime already I was eighteen.


And uh, she just couldn't uh, sto... And we were not together. See, I was in Block uh, A, she was in Block uh, B. And we were separated.

Did you say anything to your parents?

Did I say?

Did they say anything to you?

Nothing. Uh, let's hope that we can see ourselves back. There was nothing to be said. I mean, this is really--this what happened to this generation it's uncalled for. But it happened.

So the last time you saw them was on the platform.

Right. And eight uh, three weeks on the train.

Mm-hm. And what happened to your sister?

My sister uh, she got in "I want a mommy," and she was taken away to the crematorium.


"I want my mommy." They won't put up with you.

And how did, you found out about...

Oh no, I used to go see her everyday. You see, I have a lo...a big uh, I was a big macher, you know. It was a big job.


It was not educational, but it saved my life.

So you used to see your sister.



I u...I used to, I made it good with all the lieutenants, the lieutenants you know, whatever the high.


And they knew because they have ??? very frustrated when they didn't--you don't understand them. And it's the worst thing can happen to anybody. They were getting uh, madder and madder and madder, you know. If they, they tell you something and you don't understand. So a part of it, I was like a ??? in there you know, an interpreter.


I said don't, don't press your luck because you know, you're going to get one left and right.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn