Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Death of Sister

How long did your sister survive?

Six months.

She was eleven.

She was a beautiful girl too. She had hair like uh, that singer. Never cut in the eleven years. They kept her up just for her beauty.

Was she in the Kinderblock?


She was in the Kinderblock. She was the biggest people, the pupil. Those are the people who were uh, put uh... She would have been alive for the experience and for the...

With Mengele.


And when you went to see her and found out she wasn't there, what...

Oh no, I was in contact with her because I had the uh, the soldiers, they were on uh, on routine uh...


Oh no, I, I used to see her. I, I used to take to a lot of people. Oh boy, my life was uh, uh, gold pieces. Not that uh, we can take it with us. Uh, but twenty dollars, that was that you know, like pennies. Twenty-dollar gold pieces. Like pennies. I have never seen you know, not even in a jewelry store. Bushels.

But, I mean, you went one day and she wasn't there. Right?

Uh, no, she was taken alive.

But I mean, but they killed her.

Yeah. Oh yeah. She went to the crematoria.

How did you find out she was taken to the crematoria?

Oh she told. My friend told me.

She told you.

I had a lot of connection, you know. I have a friend that she is alive today fighting cancer. And I went you know, and I gave her uh, I gave her a gold piece. She says, "What uh, what are we going to do?" You say, "You know where to hide it," you know. Uh, but it didn't matter, it didn't matter. Nothing does to you, money when you can't use it. All the money in the world. You know, it's like I was so sick six weeks ago. I fell down right here and I felled up, fell down in the porch. This happened all in three weeks time. I was in such a pain that I just couldn't even move. I caught--I couldn't sleep, I couldn't turn around. I have to stay flat.


And uh, I says, "All the money in the world can't buy you health." It wasn't easy. For somebody uh, like me, to sit down. People love to listen uh, to hear me. They say, "First of all, you don't dramatize." What is there to dramatize? What is there to, to cry? What is there? You, you, you can't--the thing is to do something to prevent. We got caught in the fire and it was nothing we coulda done. I just don't believe that I'm alive. I was selected twice for the crematoria, I was so skinny. I weighed seventy-five pounds.

You were selected. So there were regular selections.

Right. But my cousin was the Blockowa, where I stay. So she was my protection, you know. She had her friends, so they pulled me out.

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