Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Sexual Encounters in Camp

Was there every any--I wanted to ask you this--was there ever any um, sexual encounter that you remember? Not necessarily with you.

Well, this is what I say, you know. The Germans if you pay 'em or if you give yourself all naked, they don't want to see you. No, not from the Germans.

Between prisoners maybe.

We didn't--we never saw a man in our entire time, except the, the soldiers. And the soldiers you know, it was a Jew, a Verfluchte Jew...


and that's it. But the Russian, twenty-four hours what we went through. Ten girls. It was, every uh, it was un... This was worse than the whole episode in concentration camp.

This was...

To me, to me it's uh, I, I feel so bad if those kids today are saying they are raped, if they are telling the truth. You know what I mean? Because once your uh, your, whatever you think that is deprive of li...yourself and is taken away, I just don't believe in that. Nobody has a right. And the Russians, they couldn't care less. So we hide for twenty-four hours. Luckily we found like a shed, you know. It was a big barrel, probably with a--and we were there, I said, "Girls, you breathe and I'll kill you." So, 'til they left. They were looking for us. No. I, I wasn't uh, never. I wasn't approach and, and I knew how to handle them, believe me. I never have that problem.

Were you ever beaten? Did you ever see anyone beaten?

Plenty of time. Right there uh, if somebody was walking slow he will be beat to death and when you'll step all over him.

And you saw, you saw that happen.

Oh yeah. And not only that. We used to walk--it was very short distance. And uh, all the bodies that they used to bring you know, they were uh, goners from the hospital. I don't know why they did that. They were still kicking as they were lying down on the floor. Here you see a hand and a face and a... I mean, this really was awful.

They were still alive when they were taken to the crematorium.

Well, they're not alive to do, they were still live in there.

And then--you mean they were taken to the crematorium that way?



I don't know, I don't know why they put them on the display. I had no idea. Maybe it was a lesson because you--they used to say when we always was an Appell, a count, you know. They say, "If anybody wants to be smart and run away," the few, there were a few run away. I don't know how they can do it because you get stuck to the fence and it's electric fence.

Was there...

"It's going to happen to you this," they used to tell you. "The same thing is going to happen to you."

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn