Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Saved from Selektion

They pulled you out. How did they do that?

Oh you know, maison, maison--housing uh, uh, how is in English? When you have the in, that somebody's there. All you need is you know, to be lucky, to be somebody there for you.

But didn't they have to send a certain number of people?

No, no, no, no. What they did was one, two three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. There was no bookke...bookkeeping over there. No. It was not that they will tip the, the truck, you know. It's like those uh, hand...handicapped uh, things you have here and they all fly in.

Who else was in the Kanada Kommando?

Oh my God, I have a, a woman that I saw yesterday. We were working together. Uh, it was all, all uh, woman, not a... There was no man there except the, the German soldier and the dog.

They weren't all Greeks, were they?


All Greeks in the camp?

No, not all Greek. There were Polish. Uh, they were uh... The French were not there. I hear they were there. Maybe I--we didn't meet any. I don't know. Uh, mostly they were Polish people.


The majority were Polish.

And the Kanada too were Polish. They'd been there, been there for awhile.

Right. Well, don't forget, I was there only... Uh, Poland the, they'd been there already since uh, '33.

Thirty, thirty, thirty, thirty-nine...



Yeah, but they were taken as '33. Like we were uh, from '41 to '43. They were in ghetto in Poland.

Well, the Germans came in '39 in Poland.


But that's a long time already.


Two years with the Germans I guess is not... Do you remember any specific, anything that stands out that's in your memory about something unusual that happened that was, during your time in the Kanada Kommando?

Well, like I say, I didn't leave the, this area.

You were always in Birkenau.

Yeah. Uh, I hardly walk two hundred feet. There was the station that the transports were coming. And I don't want to say it, it sounds terrible. I never have a life like this like over there. I didn't work outside. I was not out in the rain. You know, and nobody mistreat me. I never got hit. And then I have things to eat that, that uh, I asked, what is this.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn