Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Arrival at Auschwitz

Can you describe when the doors opened in Auschwitz what you recall of the sights and sounds?

There was a picture that you can never, never in your life can disappear from your eyes. There was so much screaming, so much crying. Because people were coming out, they were dead, half dead, fainted, fainting on the spot, shoving, pushing right and left. You looked, you saw many barracks. We could see from far and we could see chimneys. Even if you--we heard about it before, there in Auschwitz exists. But 'til we didn't come there and have the picture of it, I really, I couldn't make, I couldn't draw a picture. I just know one thing that I have it in my mind and I hope that it won't stay forever. Then we were marching for awhile and they were starting to segregate again. For awhile we could hold on. Still that time Mrs. Fordonski, my husband's mother. We tri...we thought--we tried that she will be with us. But pushed right away, away from us. So we could see that demand, that uh, they are looking for people for work, they are looking for people to send to the crematorium. And this was it. Since that time I've never seen her. From there we took us, we walked, we walked. They took us a special place where there were showers. 'Cause we were supposed to take baths and this way they had a chance--the Germans, to take away from us everything. 'Cause some people have some jewelry with them. They had some valuable things with them. But when we went in, in the shower, we got undressed and everything we had to leave behind us. After the shower, they took us in to other rooms. They shaved our heads…

[interruption in interview]

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