Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Labor in Auschwitz

Uh, were you working in Auschwitz?

In Auschwitz we was chopping stones.

Just the chopping of stones.

Yeah, nothing else. I coulda worked in the kitchen but I didn't want to sepa... They wanted to--that I don't have a tattoo. Because in C Lager--was Vernightungslager they didn't give tattoos there. But when they selected you to the kitchen, they give you a tattoo. So you working. So I wanted, but they took you--the girls in, in different camps and I didn't want to be separated from my mother and sister. So uh, I run back and I refused. And I coulda, I coulda had better, but in count of them I didn't. Because still, when you work in the kitchen, you eat something.

Do you remember any um, what were you and your sister and your mother, were you beaten at Auschwitz ever? Were you punished?

In Auschwitz? No. I was beaten because I collapsed you know, fainted. So, the Blockowa, came and she smacked me, you know. And uh, from the Jewish prisoner we was beaten, you know. From our own. Like, the Kapo. She was coming and uh, my mother was sitting here leaning like this like I was so thin you know, the end of the uh, of that uh, where--no--were we was uh, sleeping already.

The bunks, you mean.

Yeah, so the end of the bunks, she was uh, leaning against the thing. She come and she hit her over the back you know, and give her a good one. And uh, we knew her sister and her mother and everybody, so my mother went there and say that how she can do something like this, "Look what she did to me." And her whole back was you know, uh, swollen. She, with a stick. She really give it to her. So I had a grudge on her forever. And believe it or not, we was in Gottenberg, Sweden, we was going to the Czechoslovakian counsel and uh, I there with Dr. Schultz talking and she walks in. I recognized her right away. And she comes to me, Lanka you know, wants to hug me. And I said, "Go away from me!" And I start screaming and pulling her hair. And he, he come to separate us. And I told him who she is. I say that she hit my mother and never f...I never forgot that. And I wanted to get even. So she had trouble to come out to America. I don't know what happened to her.

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