Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Kozlowski - August 19, 2010

Auschwitz I

Oh, okay.

Yeah. And, in fact our Kapo, in our block. Either twenty or twenty-two, I can't remember wh...where we were. They just, burned the gypsies and we took over the-- the--the block they told us.

The Ziguenerlager?

Pardon me?

The gypsy camp?

We didn't see it, but they said they got rid of the gypsies and that we taking that camp.


That block--that uh, block, building. And uh, the Kapo was a rabbi's daughter, ???.


A rabbi's daughter, from Czechoslovakia.

So she had been there a long time then, the Czech Jews went pretty early to Auschwitz.

I don't know--not--she didn't come with us.

No, I know...

They were waiting for us, yeah.

So tell me about the...

Uh, then uh, oh then, we had help there too. We were fortunate.

You did--you did have help, how?

My sis...my auntie--my daughter's--my mother's sister was in Majdanek.


Which I found out later. And they send them with a--with her daughter. And her daughter was just thirteen, but very tall. She didn't look thirteen that's why she made it. And one day we had my grandparent's sales lady, that worked in the store. Used to live near Radom, but she worked for my grandparents. In fact, when I was sick in Radom, she was with me. And somehow she got to work for one of the Kapos in the block--in a different block than I. And she came running, to me--that my auntie came, from my Majdanek to Auschwitz.

To Auschwitz.

So I had my auntie. In a different block. And my auntie was stealing potatoes, nighttime from the front of the kitchen. And I don't know where she had a little iron stove, one of the blocks, ??? showed her where. She was cooking it and she was bringing it, ten of us were on a bunk, in Auschwitz in my block. And went home. She could have paid with her life, that's what she...

Right, yeah.

That's what my auntie was doing. She's gone. She was here. [pause] So, she was helping us a lot in this respect. Oh okay. And we were going to dig ditches every day. All three of us...

In the camp?

There was a roll call, yeah.

Oh, ok so there was Appell and they take you...

No, they were walking, walking. No Germans with dogs, you know.

Aussenkommando? Kommando?

Yeah. Uh, and one day some people that walk towards us, a group.


Calls Itka, and it was the same man that was in touch with my auntie in Radom and bringing me bread.


"What do you need?" I said, "Shoes size nine." Now I'm going back to shoes now.

That's okay.

When we came in, you know, we went to the showers and stuff, they took away our clothes.


They didn't have, you know, piles for shoes. I couldn't find a nine and they were "Schnell, schnell!" That's it...


I didn't have shoes. So I was without shoes. For awhile walking without shoes. When he asked what I need, I said I wonder if I'll get it. One day, two days, it took a week or ten days. A package came in, they could have shot him and me.


Both. I had shoes since then. Little black shoes, to tie on. I'll never forget it.

Size nine?


© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn