Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Escape from Crematorium

Do you remember the chimneys? Do you remember seeing the chimneys? When was the first time you noticed?

Okay, I can tell you about the chimney because we were all laying in this bed, okay, so one night it was raining and when it was raining, it was raining in the barrack, at the top. So one night, this SS comes in the barrack and says, "You don't want to be cold, come and get some blanket. I'll give you blanket," okay. So, I guess that's what my husband wanted me to tell you about because I volunteered to go for the blanket and um, my sister was going to kill me for volunteering. She says that she wouldn't trust him and um, they took fifteen girls to bring blankets and we went, we went out. By the gate there was always dogs, okay, and SS standing, and you couldn't, you touched the gate, you were, you were dead, everything was electricity, people were hanging in the mornings from who ever wanted to kill themselves, okay. And uh, we were going for blankets except they, they needed that amount, they burned in the day, in the daytime, and that amount they burned at night, and they needed that fifteen more to burn, not a blanket, because there was no blanket. So, when we got to the gate which, they hand you a towel and uh, and a piece of soap that you're going to go take a shower, okay. I was so little, I was, I was just a little girl, okay.

How old?

Fourteen. Little, so I could sort of disappear and nobody would notice me and um, when we got to the, to the gate, the, the crematorium, I um, I heard screaming. I heard screaming, and I said to myself that's not gonna be no blanket. And they were handing these girls soap and a towel and everybody was just standing there like you would go and take a shower. I can't describe you. I, I don't know if I could describe you how I got back, but nobody else did. All the fifteen girls were, were killed and my sister-anyway, a new transport arrived, okay, and I got away with it, hiding under somebody, between, between two people. I was hiding, I escaped from the line and, and I was hiding between two people sort of, I don't know, I can't, I can't describe it how I got back.

You hid with the people from the transport?

Yeah, I just-there's no way you can describe it because there's no way you can do it.

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