Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ilya Martha Kessler - November 1, 1982


Um, when you were taken to a ghetto, when was that? Do you remember about the year that that happened?

Yeah, that's was a month we was in a ghetto. Forty--four.

Okay, in nineteen...

In 1944.

What was the name of it?



??? yeah. Mm, that was in May.


April they took us... In May they took us to Auschwitz, yeah. It was uh, I remember it was a holiday when we went there.

How did they take you there? By truck or by...

Uh, bus. It wasn't so far from us, a couple kilometer. Not far. They took uh, all the Jews to a school from this place where I was uh, born. And then they took us with the others to this bigger... a little bigger city. And there was a ghetto. And all the Jews was there from... Like Michigan, like there is Lansing and you take everybody to Lansing uh, from Detroit, from all. So that's, we was ???

How long did they leave you in this school? How long did you... You said they went... They took everyone to a school first and then from there...

Yeah, just one day we was in the school, yeah. One day it was. Because that was the biggest place, so they took all the Jews there in the school.

How much time did you have to get ready and what could you take with you?

Oh nothing, nothing uh. That's... They came, that was Passover, last day of Passover. And next morning they took us. So, like we could take uh, ??? things. Nothing. And you didn't need it there because a month later they took you to Auschwitz. And they, they take everything and they killed everybody. So, a month we was there. So, the Jews they had money, so they helped each other. They give some food there everybody who didn't have. My father was working there. He was... He was making like, uh--how to say?--I don't know. You put the... When you go to a, a ??? and you put here some...


Yeah, he was very handy. So, he helped the Jews. He did every... because he thought better than taking the ??? So, they thought they going to help and they ??? and they will be back to take the stuff. Just they didn't need it. When they get in Auschwitz, they didn't need nothing. So, he was... My father was helping for everyone. He... People helped for each other. That's what I saw. I don't know the other places. You know, a month and how I say, lots developed in there. So, he helped for this and this and they were sewing and helping for each other.

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