Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rose Green - May 21, 2008

Learning Fate of Mother and Grandmother

Were you still with your mother?


Was your mother with you?

No, no, no. We were, we were, we were parted at the big entrance--the Arbeit Mach Frei. My mother went with my grandma. I wanted to go with my mother and my grandmother and one of the German soldiers grabbed me and pushed me in the other, said "You'll see them tomorrow." I was strong and healthy girl, you know. So, so that's what happened. And uh, and we came in and the smell--that smell. And the smell mingled with--they were cooking something, those uh dried, dried potatoes or some kind of dried vegetables they cooked that smelled something awful. And then--and the and the smell of the burning flesh and bones--it just was terrible, terrible.

When did you learn what happened to your mother and grandmother?

What happened to them I, I found out right away, right, right--maybe the same day. We got there--let me see. It was uh, not early in the morning. It was at night. It was dark when we arrived. I don't remember it was morning or, or evening. I think it was evening when we arrived.

How long were you on the train?

About two and a half days, three days--two and a half days, maybe.

Why do you think it took so long to get there?

Because first of all there wasn't an express train, it was a cattle train. And then there was a, a--I think the roads were kinda messed up. They had to, they had to go around and around. I don't know. I don't know why. Just don't--I didn't even think about it, why. You don't think about those things. I was just worried about my mother and my grandmother. My father was very nervous because he saw what's going on. He was, he was afraid for me. He was afraid for, for my mother and my grandmother. And I had my mother's, one of my mother's sisters was with us too and there were some other relatives. I don't even know 'em very well from the uh, I know one of them. My mother's distant cousin was there but I didn't know her well.

Did somebody tell you what had happened to them, or did you figure it out?

Uh, I didn't figure out. There were some people from our country--from our town and they told us what happened. And they told me that if my father went to the other side, then he's okay. My father was fifty-two years old-fifty-two and a half years old. Younger than my son.

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