Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Saul Raimi - July 7, 1982

Conditions in Auschwitz

And what--and could you tell us, what were the conditions like in Auschwitz? What was the...

In Auschwitz? Well, when we came into Auschwitz, I mean uh, we were sent to Entlausung. You know what that means?


Entlausung is actually to get rid of your lice. That was the first. And we came in it was morning. We had to wait outside in the snow naked until the whole group would go in and take a shower, being shaved completely, all your hair. We had to wait in the cold naked 'til we go into there. Whoever survives, okay. And as we came out, we were given those prisoner uniform and that didn't just give. We were constantly in the running, on, on the run. On the run? And they were standing with uh, uh, baseball bats, you could say like, like truncheons and beating us. You had to run, everything was ??? you had to run. When you came out, you got the uniform. Of course, we had to laugh at how tragic the situation was just looking at yourself completely shaved, your head's been shaved and everything. So, it was a uh, tragic, tragic comedy I would say.


And then we were led to the registration office where prisoners actually were working. Those prisoners were non-Jews. Here let me tell you one thing. They were a lot of them like Poles, Ukrainian. They were vicious like the Germans.


And that is where we got our tattoos. Next we were assigned to our uh, barracks.

Were these the Kapos?

No, that were clerk uh, clerks. They did uh, like office work. They registered every... Everything the Germans did, everything was disciplined and expert. Everybody has to be registered and uh, given their numbers and uh, next we were led to--that was already came in the morning--and then in evening we were led to our resting places in the barracks. This is where we stayed but we came up. That was our block 7-R, 7-A.

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