Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

British Soldiers

When the British came in, do you remember that they opened, did they open the storehouses?

There, everybody--they open and whoever could walk go and take food. But I couldn't walk.

What happened to some of the prisoners who ate all this?

Well, like sauerkraut. I was eating, I was filled up with that sauerkraut. So it was so many uh, months you don't uh, over a year you don't have food. So the sauerkraut did something to me. I, I was going--I had diarrhea anyway, so uh, what was the different already. But some had salamis and so, but they wasn't sharing already.

But you said that you--how did you hear that the bread was poisoned?

Well uh, the soldiers told us.

The British soldiers.

The uh, yeah, the British soldiers told us uh, "If--you know, if you eat the bread," you know. But, uh...

There were prisoners dying from the bread, is that what...

Yeah, yeah, they was dying.

So what happened after Birkenau? You were in the hospital, you staying in the hospital to be with your sister.

No, I was in the, in a camp there you know, but we was going free you know, where the soldiers was. Barracks and so--and they had a kitchen. We was going for food there. And, as a matter of fact uh, my husband's cousin, she was in charge there in the kitchen, just a big shot. And I come and she gives me a little there in for me in the pot. So I say to her uh, to her, "Hutzi, we're not prisoners anymore. Give me what I want." Said, "No, I give it you." So I threw at her in the face. And I jumped over and I took what I wanted. And I say, "We not." Girls--we, we knew each other from home. But they was thinking they are something because they're in charge of the food. And another girl--I went to another kitchen, and she was very beautiful that girl and she lives in New York but I never want to see her. You know, she's even related to that girl what I told you who found my sister. And I never want to see her. She says, "Do you want to meet her?" I say, "No absolutely I don't want to meet her." Because I come there for the food and she says, "Stay in the line, stay in the line." I--and then to the line, "I give you more you know, more." And I come there and she say she doesn't have food anymore. I took and I was beating her up. I say, "You tell me to stay in the line," I say, "we will come home and," they was very poor at home, they had uh, uh, "your grandfather was standing on the cemetery for an neduwa you know, they give 'em money there on the cemetery. "Now you will stay there and I give you and you will come for potatoes, beg potatoes from my mother." She--they used to come, "You will come beg potatoes for me." And I really give it her. And then when we was going to Sw...uh, Sweden, she had guts to come over, I should put that she is my cousin, she wants to go with us to Sweden. So I didn't. But they went home and they married very good. She has a very good husband.

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