Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Franka Charlupski - June 18, 1985

The Family is Deported

Uh, when they started the deportations, when you and your family were taken, how did you find out about that, and tell me what happened when the transport came?

I don't know how I...You know what, I don't know how I found out about that. The only thing I remember is being near the uh, cattle wagons. I don't know if we were told or we were taken without notice, I don't remember it. The only thing I do remember is being at the train station, not the station where regular trains go by, but a cattle station was and being pushed into the cattle car. But I don't remember how and when. I know it was in August, I don't know the exact date. And we came into Auschwitz...It took three days, I think.

Can you describe the trip?

The trip. Oh, yeah. Oh, very well. Uh, we put on ourselves whatever we could. That means if I had two dresses, I put both on hoping that I'll have it. Uh, I had one pair of shoes so there wasn't more to take than one pair of shoes. I don't think I had a ring, I don't, I don't think so. Whatever you could, you put...They told you...Whatever, just what you have on yourself and what you can carry in your hand. And uh, my husband naturally did the same thing. Matter of fact, we both had new shoes. And uh, this is what we put on. And we went to the station. Or we went or we were taken, I really don't remember. It's amazing that I don't remember it at all. It's like it never happened but I do remember being in the cattle car and uh, we were, oh God, in one cattle car maybe a hundred people. One on top of the other, no facilities uh, people were dying right, left and right in the car from the heat, from hunger uh, from the smell. We would uh, um, make like little holes with whatever we had to get a breath of air and that's how we got to Auschwitz. And once we came into Auschwitz, we were separated left and right.

Were you with your parents on the train?

Yes. With my parents and my sister.

They were right next to you?

Right next to me and uh, once we came in, like I said, we held onto my mother and that was the biggest mistake, I think. It's possible not uh, if it was fate or what. But I think, at that time, my mother was, in 1944, my mother was forty-four years old and a healthy looking woman, I'm sure, she would have survived if we didn't hang on to her. She would have gone to work like all the other women. But they did take her out and we never saw her again.

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