Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Fate of Parents

When did you find out what had happened to your mother and your sister?

Three months later being in Auschwitz.

No one ever talked about the gas chambers or the crematorium before?

You couldn't, you couldn't miss, miss it. It was just burning there at night, the flames and the smell...

The smell.

was all around and, and the music was playing, you know they made a movie out of it, I was sitting next to them and listening...

To the orchestra?

to the orchestra and listening to the music, so they were taking the people to the gas chamber with music.

How did you find out?

We found out, we found out about three months later, 'til three months in the, in the concentration camp, I still thought my mother was someplace alive with my three youngest--younger sister and my brother and, um...

Did someone tell you?

Someone told us, a Polish guy, a Polish, a Polish guy who worked as a Kapo, Polish Jewish man who worked as a Kapo who's been there for five years, four years and we, we lit a candle in our barrack and, and we prayed and we cried and cried and cried.

Had you gotten news of your father?

But seeing father in that, meant that they're, they're going to be taken to work and they're, they're alive, they wasn't, they weren't killed right away, that's what it meant, about father. So all along, for some reason, he knew that we were alive, the three girls and we knew that there is a possibility that he is alive. He was together with a man he was working, he, he, he was working very hard labor um, in coal, coal, coal mines with coal, very, very hard labor and um, since they took him away that he had to march a long, long time from, I don't, I'm not sure, but he had to mar...they had to march because right away when we were freed, we went to look for father. We, the three of us, we only had this one, one hope that father was alive, okay, we were, that's the reason we went home, back home and the reason we went, we, we risked our life with uh, trying to find him was the most, that's a separate big story. But one day in Czecho...we were in Prague, Czechoslovakia and this man, who was together with my father, was looking for us, for the three of us. And um, and he kept on asking everybody if they knew where we are, by our maiden name, and um, he came one day and told us he has something to say to us and that uh, we are not going to cry, he's going to tell us how father died and that how he wished he would have come home because he knew that we were alive, and but he didn't know if we were going to make it all the way, okay. He knew we were alive at that time because and um, he said that father was very tired and he just wanted to sit down on a stone and rest for a little while and the SS told him to get up and um, he didn't, so he shot him in the back, that was just the one day before we were freed.

That is 1945, right?


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