Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982

Being Transported to Auschwitz

Were you on the transport?

On the tran...transport.

Oh, so you didn't run away, you were...

I was in Auschwitz from--and I went with my, my brother. Took my...

How old was this brother? This was...

This was the older, little older--the youngest brother. The older brother they took me away the--but uh, he was--and I was about this time I was seventeen, close to eighteen, he was about five years younger. He was thirteen years old.

Do you remember what the round up--do you remember the train?

I remember the train.

He was the only one you were with--the two of you?

No, we was about sixty people.

No, I mean the only--your only relative. He was the only...

About sixty or, still I got about sixty people relatives on the same train. We went all the whole family. We went...



How long was the, the train--the ride that you remember?

I'd say about a couple days, night. We was driving all the time. I really don't remember. When I came down, there was--you--when you came down that's--you know some--the German will stay in one line and you--they looked at you. If you were strong enough and you was healthy, they told you to go on one side. And if you was not--children they talked to 'em, said, "Go on the other side." When I, I was still young, I was eighteen years old, they told me go on right side. They took away my, my brother, and they told him to go on the left side, my aunt, my cousins, my uncle. And we had the whole family, just I and my cousin and uncle we went on the right side. And the rest we didn't know. When I came in, in Auschwitz I found some friends from Łódź in the same barracks where I was and they told me that, "All the people who went on this side, you're never going to see them. They went to the Krematorium.'

Did you stay with your brother and your uncle in the barrack?

No, my brother, they took him on the right side.

They took him.

Just my cousin.

Oh, your cousin.

Yeah, and all my friends, a lot of friends I had over there. We went in the same. When I was in Auschwitz, I never want to be in a, in a camp. I always was trying to go out, not to be in a camp. I just had to go to work in a factory. They asked me what I know. I know a little bit because I worked in metal oven in Łódź and I wanted to go to work not to stay in camp. After six weeks I went out. From Auschwitz I went to Gleiwitz I. I worked over there in the factory and I worked uh, about three months. I don't remember how long I was working.

Let's just back track just a little bit. You were taken to Auschwitz. Do you remember the time? Do you remember the day, the month--do you remember when?

I don't remember when.

No, okay.

I don't remember numbers per se, I really was--I don't remember times, I was so scared in life that I really didn't remember really.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn