Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Charlotte Firestone - March 11, 1982


To hang over the, over the bench--stool...

That stool, it was like a stool. One was standing, like for example, here is that thing, one was standing on this one, the other one on the other side and they had a Peitsche. It was uh, braided, you know, from, from uh, leather, you know, from thin leather, it was braided.

A horse whip?

Yeah, yeah. The one who got the, the, the--those twenty-five had to count. If for some reason she stopped, she had to start all over. One from one side, one from the other. I'm telling you and that had to--it was about eight or ten women. Some of them collapsed. Some of them got, you know, past--they were in the block. There was a fifteen year-old girl. I'll never forget as long as I live. She died. She beat it down, maybe the kidney or something. She was so beautiful. She never came out of it. There was a woman from Czechoslovakia. She never came out of it. Can you imagine? And, you know, when we fell down, already, they lost, put somebody lost count, they had to, they had to holler, "One, two, three." You know and she lost count. She fell down. Then both of them are on the floor. That was--it was a terrible thing. Nobody dare, even wanted to go to me. The SS said, "If I would have known what she's going to do, I would have never write the numbers." Because we were, you know, we were scared stiff of them.

These people were beaten to death just because they went to the bathroom while they were working.

Went to the bathroom and they didn't come back right away.

So what did people do when they went out to work again?

Well, they just went here and they were hollering, "I'm the--here." to the SS or something, you know. We were scared. That would never happened again. That was a terrible thing. It was, you know, not even human. It wasn't [pause] it was terrible.

They beat you and your sister.

We just got lickings. We, w...we were lucky.

Your, your sister gave you her job to take care of...

My sister gave a job...

As a Stubälteste for the Kapos?


And what did your sister do then?

She was her, her maid.

Her maid. After she found out you were sisters, did, did she...

She didn't do anything. She just--a licking...

And you still had the jobs,

And I still had--and that was already close when, you know, the Russian already closed them.

So this is in January.

That was earlier. It must have been November or December, but they already knew. I'm gonna to tell you something, I'm gonna tell you something. In January already, in January already, the um, those people who were in Stutthof, they came to Praust they, they schlepped over there. You know, that certain man who, um, who wanted my sister to be there, stayed, stayed uh, there in Stutthof. That man was there. You know, they, that's how they knew that um, that Emma Macha was beating them, too. It was cold and they didn't want to go out.

The men prisoners? She was beating men and women together now?

We were not together. They were just, they just came and they emptied one barrack.

I see.

And they went in the barrack and Emma Macha wanted them to come out to stay Appell. They didn't want to come out. The men didn't want to come anymore. So she beat them in the bed. She killed them, too. One of them.

By beating him?

Uh, huh.

Where did they go from there? Do you know where they went after that?

We didn't know nothing. We were there like animals.

Did your sister talk to that man? Do you, do you know what he told her?

She asked him if he want something that she should give him, that he--he want something. He said no. I don't know what she would have given him. Maybe...


Food, she didn't have. Maybe a piece of bread from her bread. I remember in Auschwitz, I was--I kept her bread. She just want to eat it at once. I didn't want it, because I said, "Look, we have a whole day wait." I kepted the bread and we had fights over it, so I give her a piece from mine that she should have, you know, because she was so sick there, so weak. She just wanted to eat at once. She couldn't eat the soup. She's a very particular--even now, very fussy, you know. She couldn't eat that soup because of the sand. But she ate it anyway.

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