Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Transport to Auschwitz-Birkenau

I'm sure they brought you to the, to the trains.

The trains were next to the ??? so they were very close. And they put us in the eighty, ninety, a hundred people, on the...

What was it like?

Terrible. No--we had some food, very little. No water. Crowded. For three, four, and then uh, took us three or four days to get to Auschwitz. I don't remember, but that was a nightmare. I remember one lady delivered a baby in the, in the, in the uh, car and nothing was there. There, there was probably doctor because a lot of Jewish doctors. I am sure that there was a doctor there or a, a, somebody who could help. But uh, it was a nightmare, so...

Did the baby survive?

I don't know. I don't know. Uh, so, there was nothing, no, no, no, no urinating and every...and nothing. You know, just nothing. That was the...

People urinating right in front.

Whatever, you know. They had some maybe. I, I really don't remember, you know. I don't remember this because that was a nightmarish uh, thing and, and it's kind of very hazy.

You were with, you were with your parents.

Parents right. My parents and unfortunately with uh, other members of my, my family extended, one of the sister which I just mentioned to you, my mother's sister who had two boys and when we got off--out from the car, from the cattle cars, she took the hand, she grabbed a hand and that was her fate.

If you look at this map, it shows Auschwitz to Munkacs.

Mm-hm. Yes, here. We went through Krakow. I remember standing Krakow. We uh, stayed there and I looked through the, the holes and I saw Krakow. We didn't uh, didn't make anything because we didn't know about Auschwitz.

You say you'd never heard of Auschwitz.


All right, so you get. Why do you sup...look how, look how short a distance it is on the map.


What is it, maybe 200 miles?


More than 200 miles?

I'm sure there more, sure more, more because, uh.

And there's the...

We went through, through Slovakia, Košice. Uh, ???, Košice, Kaschau, okay. So that's the one we were. So from Munkacs uh, it goes to Chop, Chop.

Here's the railroad route with the little arrows.

Arrows. Przemyśl, ??? uh, Pre šov, Košice. It doesn't say Ka...Kaschau, Košice, twelve, you see that's the one.

That's the where the jurisdiction changed.



Košice, the Hungarian gave over to Germans. I remember Košice. There--I remember Košice and they, they, we saw, we saw already all the German took over.

Ok, let's say it was 300 miles.

Maybe more. Maybe--believe me, maybe more because you know, it is uh, I cannot...

Not kilometers--m...miles.

Miles, I know. I know. I don't know, maybe more.

Why do you think it took three days?

I don't know. We stopped on there many times. I don't know why. We, we, we were stay...staying for a long time in, in Košice, in Kaschau until the, and then we stopped all over. I don't know why.

But people were dying.

Uh, you know, I don't remember dying uh, in, in, in--during this three days. I don't remember. Not in our, not in our uh,

In the car.

...car. I don't remember.

Sounds, smells?

Yeah. But we.

But you don't remember those either.

Uh, you know, I'll tell you something later on. I, I remember more vividly another uh, thing which later, could later in Germany, but I'll tell you--you will ask--going to ask me, there I remember uh, our journey from, from Poland to Dachau. Later on. That was terrible. You know, psychologically the first was terrible because that was the first time. But the second one was the half of the population died in the car. But if you're going to ask me I'll tell you later.

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