Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Kahan - April 29, 1982

Transport to Auschwitz

What happened next?

Well uh, one day uh, they, they told us to, to uh, pack a suitcase a person, I believe and uh, they said that we were going to go to the train, that we're leaving the ghetto. And I remember pandemonium, breaking loose uh, everybody trying to find the family being together and everybody tragically trying to save uh, their best, to try to figure out what to put in that suitcase, you know. You always, you are human, you try, you don't want to give up everything that you have. So we tried to figure out what to pack in that suitcase. And people were running around looking for relatives, for children, to keep them together. And then we marched through the town to the cattle train. A large train was there. It was uh, German soldiers and, and uh, Hungarian police. I, I believe at that time it was uh, already the, the infamous anti-Semitic Hungarian Gendarmes, the Csendõrs. They were really anti-Semitic dogs. I had never seen, I had never came in contact with them in my civilian life. Very little. I heard of 'em. And they were there at the train station. They packed us in, tightly packed. I don't remember exactly how many people, but there was very little room. They packed us in, into the train. I am trying to remember now how we survived the week to Auschwitz food wise. I believe that everybody took some food, whatever they had, with them. But uh, I remember after a day or two in the train we starving already, very, very hungry. Uh, they packed us on the train and uh, and uh, we started towards Auschwitz. One thing uh, comes to my mind vividly, that we stopped in Kosice, in the town my mother was born. And, and uh, my, I think that my mother could see from the train the cemetery where her parents were buried and, and she sort of pointed it out to me and she cried and, and that was just a very sad uh, moment uh, for us to go through the town where she was born and grew up and where her family was. And I think she knew that the Jews of Czechoslovakia were gone. And I remember that vividly. Besides that uh, the train stopping for coal and for water and the terrible conditions that we had on the train. We felt that it will be over any day now and then we will arrive at their labor camp and everything will be all right.

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