Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Arriving in Auschwitz


Birkenau. B stands for Birkenau. In, in Auschwitz I was from, 19...1944--from August '44 to January '45, I was in Auschwitz.

What was a day like in Auschwitz?

This was--you are uncomfortable, I see.

No, no, no keep going. It's fine. No problem.

No problem? Auschwitz was like a, like a, like torture. Every day torture, torture. People were running to the, to the electric wires to commit suicide. People were shot like, like, like, like the--when you go hunting and you see shotting--shot of birds. That was going on every day in Auschwitz. We saw the chimneys--we knew that we were getting, getting, getting Krema...going to the Krematorias. We knew everything. But we couldn't help ourselves and this was going on every day. If a day went by without, without any, without any, any victims it was a blessing. But a funny thing is in Auschwitz we had--I remember at Rosh Hashanah--oh, and Yom Kippur also--we had, we, we could, we could, have the services. We could have it we be--but it was--nobody knew about it. The Germans didn't know about it. But after work, we came back from work and we'd get in, in, in the barracks and we held the services.

What was your first day at Auschwitz like when you first came through what was the, the--the train cars opened and there you were...

They were--the selections, left and right, left and right. Who goes to, who goes to work and who goes to the ovens?


We didn't know exactly--it was a, like a shock. We didn't know exactly what's going on. But slowly we found out.

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