Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Life in Auschwitz

You were with two sisters now?

Only two sisters now, and I-they huddled us into this barracks with 35,000 women, they had, they, they huddled us in for, I don't know how many thousands in the one barrack. We slept fifteen of us on a bed, it was just like, it was just like no, um...

A board?

A board, just a board.

Bunk beds?

Bunk beds. And I still thought how my mother is going to see me baldheaded. If I see her again, she's going to be heartbroken how I look. That was my thought in the first two nights, still didn't know what was going on. But the next day oh, for one week, they didn't give us anything to eat. [pause] My girlfriends were dying like flies.

From starvation?

Mm-hm. And uh, the second night-I mean, a week later, there was a week later, when um, we got a piece of bread, it was about that big, hard black, hard bread and um, we went out in the-I would, we went outside and I noticed, it was the first time that I noticed

[interruption in interview]


Okay. We were in C Lager they called it, okay. C...

C Lager.

C Lager yeah. And next to our Lager was, they just brought all the Czech Jews from Theresienstadt. In Theresienstadt, they kept everybody together, the old and the young, and they kept them alive, they kept them starved. They were starving there for I don't know how many years, maybe five, Theresienstadt was strictly doctors and lawyers and just and I looked out and I got this one piece of bread that night and I, I don't know, I looked over and between us was only the electric wires, the fence was electric wire, okay, so you could see, but if you touched it, you died. But you could see what was going on. And I saw children. I saw-I was young, too, but somehow I couldn't, you know, I, I saw children there, and I saw old people and I saw young couples holding hands and I uh, and I saw them so thin and so starved out and so hungry that I probably would have been killed if I think about it, but I took this one piece of bread that I had and I didn't know when I'm going to get my other piece, and I threw it over the fence for the children, so about I don't know about fifty children that are getting this one piece of bread on the floor, I don't know who got what out of it, but next, but that same night, they closed our barracks on both sides and we heard nothing but screams. They killed everybody. They took them to the gas chamber that night. All those people. Because in the morning all that was left was the clothes on the ground all over the place and they were screaming because they came with the trucks and they hauled them up on the trucks because there was already a sickness breaking out and they couldn't cope with it, so they cleaned up this whole, this whole you know...


Yeah, every barrack was and they locked us up so we can't see or hear. But I heard, we heard and we knew what was going on because everybody, everybody died that night.

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