Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Transport to Auschwitz

All right, describe how they uh, they got you to Auschwitz.

By train--box, box cars, packed in. No way out.

How did they inform the people of the ghetto that it--that you were leaving?

Well, they didn't have to inform anybody. They just surrounded it with uh, with uh, either SS or the SA, you know, yellow uniforms or the black uniforms or whatever and uh, surrounded it around and all the Juden austreten. That's all.

Did they give you a certain amount of time to get ready to leave?

Within an hour, most of the time, may... [interruption in interview]

Were you uh, able to take certain things with you?

What good does it do? Okay, we took certain things. You put down another shirt on top of you, another shirt on top of you, uh, you can only wear one pair of shoes. Okay, so you had uh, what they call a rucksack. A rucksack, you know, is a, uh, what would it be in English?

Shoulder bag.

Yeah, a rucksack. So if, uh...


Backpack, thank you. But, but that backpack--if the SS had a bad eye on you, he just took a knife and cut the strap, you know, and just dropped it. Off, off off--yeah, okay. That's how, that's how we went on the train.

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