Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Sanitary Conditions (continued)

The following is a continuation of the interview with Mrs. Ilkow, continued at her home in Southfield, Michigan on the morning of October 19. The interviewer's still Bolkosky.

Let me ask you a little bit about uh, about Auschwitz when you got there.

Well, when we got there, it was very scary. It was so scary that it's all the time in my dream. I mean, you went through already the selections and they put you, they put us in C Lager. And this was a Lager where they was taking people to destroy all the time. Some people r...remains you know, like uh, stones you know, with... They shaved you, you had uh, just one dress on you, you were shivering, cold, staying, Zählappell in the morning and hungry. Finally you got a slice of bread with a black coffee. This was already something that happened ???, you know. And was very, very scary and we was like comparing ourself like animals. We had no freedom whatsoever to do anything. So when they put you in the barrack already on those uh, bunk beds, everybody--and this was something horrible, horrible. People who lived in the homes had beds to lay on, this uh, thing went in your flesh all over the--how they call 'em?


The--yeah, splinters all over you. And my mother she was laying down my sister and then I, two other girls, five of us. And if one had to turn, all had to turn, because you had no place this way.

When you, when you came out of the--you got your clothes, you got the, the, the...

Yeah, the...

dress. You were shaved?

Before, before. You put down everything where, as you arrived. So I put so nicely down. I had a nice, homemade uh, handmade sweater. My brother paid for it somebody to make it. And, so I you know, idolized that. And uh, then they shaved you. The first time I saw my mother naked. I never saw my mother naked. You know, Europe wasn't like this, everybody was hiding. So uh, we were standing there and she was standing and shivering and we was crying. And she says, "Who knows what they will do with us now?" So as, as we was going out through our little door, we didn't know that they killed there in that, when we arrived. We didn't know they have gas. So we just through our little door went out and they give us one dress for everybody. Fits you, don't fit you, wear it. So.

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