Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Kozlowski - August 19, 2010


Did that make you nervous, that there was no work?

You don't know yet, yeah. I went to work though.

Oh you did go to work in Bergen-Belsen?

I was very lucky, that's why we made it, probably.


So we had uh, she was a very nice Kapo from Czechoslovakia. So whenever, the SS men came in they need a couple girls to work--I don't care what kind of work.


Three of us got up, to get out of that smell.


Excuse me. I would go in there every day cleaning this, cleaning that--whatever they told us to do in a couple buildings. This went on for a couple weeks--three weeks. One day--evening--one evening, the Kapo comes over and said, I have so many problems to get somebody to go to work, and I'm watching you every day, whenever they open the door you are there. Don't miss it tomorrow, because if you're gonna go, you gonna--you might end up working in a kitchen.

Oh really. So that was--that was very nice of her to warn--to let you know that.

Yeah, the other one wouldn't do it in Auschwitz.


Daughter: Who was it?

I don't know her name. A Czechoslovakian Kapo.

Daughter: Oh Kapo.

From--she was in charge of us.


So, we went, we started cleaning kitchen. We didn't know if we worked there--we did, so that happened for a couple weeks or so.

Were you able to get food then?

Then we had to peel potatoes. So you know, to eat a raw potato was just great.


Not only did they broke later. So one daugh...one sister went to peel potatoes.


And we were peeling potatoes, but from there, they send us to help in the kitchen. Two sisters. So you know--so we had, as much soup as we wanted or whatever.

Do you think...

And then we lived in a little building, where there was warm water and they gave us clothes to change. So...

In Bergen-Belsen?


Just you and your sisters in that building? Or were there other...


People, just other...

No, about twenty, thirty people. Yeah.

And they were all working as well?

Yeah, in dif...there were three kitchens. Yeah.

So, did you--did you recognize the value of working--I mean for the Germans, in kind of, keeping you alive and keeping you safe? It seems to me, from what we've talked about, you were always willing to take on, whatever work that they would give you.

No, I just want--no.

Were you just like...

I wasn't happy to work but...


In the last camp it smelled, it was impossible to wait. And what would I do there, you know.

So you just wanted to get out?


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