Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Transport to Auschwitz

Um, did they give you any warning before they took you to the train? Did you have twenty-four hours?

No, nothing. You just had to pack up and um, they took us to the train and uh, put us 75 in a, in a cattle train.

In one car?

In one car. On top of each other.

What did you take with you?

Very little, the food most and uh, I remember my younger sister who was just- [shows him a picture] that's her, gorgeous child. She had three dresses on her that day.

How did you get the picture of your sister?

That's another story. It would take about-my uh, I had a boyfriend, who I thought was my boyfriend, but I don't-he saved this picture during the concentration camp and when we came home, he gave it to me. This is the only thing. There's no pictures left over of any kind.

He was in a concentration camp too?

He was in a concentration camp too, and he just for some unknown reason, okay, he, I don't know, he, he saved my picture, and she happened to be with me in the picture, that's why I cut it out and I enlarged.

Oh yeah, so you were a part of the picture too?

I was a part of the picture.

The whole family went into the train?

Yeah. And by the train, my sister and me, we had a lot of jewelry on ourselves that mother wanted us to hide, on our body, but they searched us right by the train, and, um...

How did they search you?


Just like that?

From the top to the bottom, head to-that was before we got on the train. Before, everybody was searched before you went in the cattle cart, that uh, you had nothing left, as far as your wedding rings or watches or anything, everything was taken away.

People being beaten? Do you remember seeing anybody being beaten?

My sister almost got killed and I was screaming, yelling ??? because she tried to save some jewelry on herself. They were beaten if they resisted to give it to you.

So, an SS officer started to beat her because she wouldn't give him the jewelry?

Yes, and I screamed and cried. I remember that because they were beating her.

How badly was she hurt?

'Til finally, they had a rubber stick, okay, and um, I thought-and then mother said, give it to them, give it to them, so they stopped, and sort of, you know, the line went on.

Did you see any other--anyone being shot, even in the ghetto?

In the ghetto, no, not in the ghetto, I didn't.

Do you remember what a day was like in the, in the ghetto? What would you do during the day, for that month?


Just stay at home?

You mean still at home?

At home, yeah.

Nothing, from morning to night, nothing.

The whole family just stayed in, in the barracks?

The whole family did nothing. We cried, and we uh, we talked and most of the time I saw all those distinguished people from our town just walking around.

Did the rabbis hold any classes or anything like that, did they pray?


They prayed. And the community prayed.

Prayed. Prayed, they prayed all the time. They had minyan.

Do you remember what the train was like, the trip?

Horrible because it was going about three days and two nights and uh, people were sick, we had old and young together and uh, father was holding a candle making us something warm to drink, I remember, getting it warm under a candle. And um, once it stopped, the train, and uh, I don't know for feeling or sort of, I don't know, once the train stopped and, uh...

Did anyone get off?

They didn't open the door. Nobody got off. But I saw [pause] I saw my father like um, you know, like he was trying to fight and fight and fight before and uh, he didn't now at all, so he was sort of uh, like he, like he was giving up on something.

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