Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Volunteering to Change Camps [interruption of interview]

I don't even know, yeah, I remember.

Go ahead, you were...


...you saw these women and they seemed healthy.

Yeah, they seemed healthy uh, stronger, older than me. Uh, and one specific lady with beautiful, red hair, Lola, who was in charge of one of the barracks prior to its evacuation, who was tossed in amongst us, lined up and with her another couple girls, and I thought, "Well, if she's going, she's not volunteering to be killed." And they didn't specify who, they just, he just started with his cane, "Just go, go, go." All of a sudden we line up and I begged these girls that, we were so close, but you can tell I can't remember the names. And I really had nothing to lose. I had no shoes, I had no blanket. I was cold, I was hungry. I had nobody. I had no family. And survival seemed, seemed a long way off. And a thought hit me a few times o...of running for the fence when it get electric uh, electrified, because uh, it seemed a little easier. I, I think, you know, "Who wants to go on? How long could you go on like that?" Uh, but human nature is strange, and we all want to survive and, and there's a maybe. Uh, and I do line up, and I don't know how I fall in there, but as, he just counts off about five hundred and fifty of us, that's it. And they march us out. And we're brought into Birkenau--the central area, where you, you get deloused they call that. You don't know what delousing is. Uh, they take everything away from you. Uh, you, you're going to a, a so-called shower, if you call it. It's, it's a shower. They give you a little piece of soap. I was told that's got the, the--that it was made from the Jewish bodies. Um, and I didn't use it, I thought the water is enough. I didn't use the soap. And uh, we come out and the same--by then we had little bits of hair grown back already. Uh, we were tossed a dress, a uh, another piece of garment--you could call it an outwear or something besides just a dress and a pair of shoes.

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