Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ilya Martha Kessler - November 1, 1982

Arrival in Auschwitz

And they, they came and they took us. First in a ghetto, you know, a bigger city. And they throw in the ghetto they took to Auschwitz. So, I went there and they took my mother and took my two brothers, you know, one side, and the mens-this was in Auschwitz-men went to the other side, so my father went with the men. And grandmother, my grandmother was with me, with us too. So, they took me--I was a little girl--they took me between the grownup people. And uh, this morning uh, this day they cut my hair. You want me to tell it?


Okay, they cut my hair and they gave us uh, some red dress on. But then I saw on the other side men it was and it was with a striped dress, a striped cap. And then I heard my father tell my ??? He said, ??? "Why don't you tell them how old you are? You should go with your mother and grandmother and help them." Because I had a little uh, brother and my grandmother was old, so my father want me to go with them and help them. "If they going to ask you how old you are, you are tell them." And I never ??? to my father and nobody. And they took us in a camp and that was a C Lager. And we went to the seventy was the block, was thir... thirty, I think, thirty or thirty--two blocks was in the C Lager. And when I get here I fell back, I don't have no hair. People was in three--how to say this?--level. And I look at me and I say--for myself--I said, "Oh, I am not going to go in because that's men." I felt that I don't have no hair. I get to the other place because they like, like we would be uh, animals they took us there. I look at the other there too and then I realize I don't have hair either. So then, I went in a place to sleep there.

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