Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bert Dan - November 17, 1982

Visiting Auschwitz

I happened to be the first time I was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. And it was extremely, extremely interesting to go I--and we had a guard that also came along on the train--he was a Polish Jew who was working in the concentration camp from 1942 through the liberation and were working in the death camp actually. You know he--and he knew every corner. And he came along with us and it was extremely interesting at this point. He pointed out to us exactly where the Krematoriums were and uh, some of 'em were still standing naturally out of order, while they were still standing, and some of them were completely destroyed. And uh, as a matter of fact, I took some pictures. That friend of mine in, in Israel has quite a few pictures. I have a couple or three of them. And uh, there were, I would say, about a hundred Jewish leftovers--pe...leftovers in, in the hospital. And we took food along with us and we gave it to them. And uh, it was an experience that--it will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was really something so fulfilling that uh, I can only believe that uh, it's a really unbelievable--you got to see it to believe what was going on there. How those old people that--have you ever seen a skeleton? Those were actual skeletons still alive. How they were able to, to walk around or even move around I don't know. But they were actual skeletons. I don't know the reason--probably you might know, that they called them Musel...Musellmann--that's how they called them over there, not skeleton. But they were actually skeletons. And uh, when we walked in and we brought food to them and they started grasping and crying and hugging us, and you know, it was so touching that it was un...unbelievable, unre...and uh, whoever was in the yard there from, from Romania or Hungary and wanted to come along or they were able to come along--we took them. And naturally along with us--and we took 'em back to, to the train and over there the doctor started taking care of them already. You know, and it was uh, a different atmosphere, naturally. And uh, we were there for about four or five days and we had a train full of people already. We had about seven hundred Jewish people. And we took 'em back home to Romania and we stayed home for about, for about a week or so, and the train came back and we went back and forth. I made the trip four times, okay.

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