Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Arrival at Auschwitz

What did you--when the doors opened?

When the doors opened, they put us on trucks.

What did you think when the doors opened?

Then we knew something is very wrong. And when we come to Auschwitz and it say, Arbeit Mach Frei. So we was thinking, well, we will go to work, you know. But Mengele, just a handsome guy, standing there and he was selecting the people and who should live and who should die and so on. So we knew already it's no good. All the time, we knew. And we come to that C Lager and we had you know, it just uh, like sle...slept like three days. So upstairs was twelve girls, in the middle was fourteen girls and in the bottom was fourteen girls.

On a bunk.

On a bunk. And if one turned, we all had to turn. And no blankets, nothing. And it went in your flesh this uh, uh, the...


Yeah, the splinters...

The wood.

went in your flesh. Picking all the time the splinters from our, from our bodies.

You said that there was one of the prisoners who told you, with the striped pajamas.


You lined up when you got out of the box car.

Yeah, he said, "Go to the right..."

Line five.

"...that you can give away the children."

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