Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Getting Bread from Brother

Uh, my oldest brother worked somewhere in Birkenau and I think it was in some group--where and how he got a hold of a loaf of white bread or a chunk of white bread--and they were permitted--they were brought in. Whether the men were bringing the food to us at the time, or how it happened. All I know is he was there and, and when we were lined up and he was calling my name, not knowing that I'm not permitted to step out of line. I stepped out to greet him. And with that, I got a beating with a cane from a Jewish girl that was a Kapo. But I swore if I ever live to survive, I'll get her.

Do you remember her name?

No, I know she was a Hungarian and I saw her after the war and I started reminding her and when she realized who I was, she escaped me. But I had a terrible beating.

In front of your brother?

In front of my brother from my back. He almost went to grab her or call her by some filthy name--which she was. But uh, he was restrained, because he could have gotten killed. And um...

He brought you bread?

A piece of bread.

Were you able to keep it?

I ate it right there. It was a corner broken off of a piece of, of a loaf of bread, a corner. And as he hugged me, he shoved it at me and I just held it, like, with my arm. And when I got the beating I just didn't let go, just held. And I ate it up. So that, that particular time--that beating was very, very painful. Uh, those canes can hurt an awful lot. Uh...

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