Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Agi Rubin - December 19, 1984


This was going on for three months?

Yes, from when the march started in January. Our very last stop so that was first we were taken to the first stop was Ravensbrück, which even today there my dreams sees a little bit to exist which was followed me for many, many years. It was whenever I dreamed, it was the barbed wires and the hanging trees seemed to be kind of symbolic to the end of the world, but that Ravensbrück was the pit of pits and by that point it was, I'm not talking about the rations, people there contracted typhus and they were sick and we, and everybody picked up everybody else's sickness and people were going crazy.

Did you have lice here?

Yea, but and still this had finally our sleeping quarters was one little brick, not lying down, just sitting on it. And I remember one of the, I remember the Russian prisoner that slept below us, out of fun she pulled out one of the bricks and all of us just fell down and I mean it was fun. This was fun. At 12 o'clock at night, this is "line up you are gonna get food." And it was all teasing, it wasn't so. And in one of these lineups I usually I would carry my group first, I was the leader, and I somehow my girlfriend was ahead of me, I notice and I see she just bends her head down and the whip gets her and, the end of the whip, cause people were shouting, there was no reason why they shouldn't use the whip I says, "don't cry Marie, in a minute I'll get it", look before I finished too the other end hit my head and it was terrible painful, but we started, we broke out in a such a laughter that people thought we went crazy. Now how, what I said, “don’t cry it's gonna hurt me too, it's gonna make you feel better." But I had no chance to finish the sentence when I was hit and I don't look, I mean we still laugh about it, you know we don't talk about life in camp, but about this funny thing, funny thing, that we talk about. The reason I bring it up is you ask how did, you ask how did you endure, what did we do, these idiotic things. But if we didn't have these idiotic thing, we would just sit down and finish up.

Describe a little bit more about Ravensbrück to me.

The only word I can use is pit, because people were just dying at that point of exhaustion of work, of hunger, or just plain giving up. It was a camp of all the camps. All the camps were concentrated in that one camp that facility was what, I'm just giving you a figure which probably doesn't exist, just to compare it, the facility maybe was for 200 people and now you had 4,000 or 2,000, that was the....

Were there latrines there?

Yea, outside latrines.

What was that like?

Oh, that was, that was open, that was high and there was a board over the hole and that was the latrine. Open, open. I mean we arrived to Auschwitz and the men worked across the other barrack and ours was on one side and you are still naive and you don't know your living conditions, you gotta go, you gotta go, you sit down and you see somebody else is sitting across from you. So that's where your human dignity is at first you are embarrassed, embarrassed you don't know that word embarrassed, because you don't exist anyway. You are very apathetic about the whole situation. And then it's just automatic, so you follow orders because it doesn't matter anyway. And here there was always a ray of hope when we are gonna be liberated, when if. The if was always there.

Was your lady still with you?

In Ravensbrück, yes. Lady was, after Ravensbrück we were take to even a worse place, uh that was called right near Leipzig, Muelback no excuse me Muelback was liberated, that was near Leipzig, that was, lice were just crawling on the floor and people were sitting and trying to clean, you know, just taking it out by the handful so the minute you clean yourself, you throw it on the, I mean back and forth. We found a lady that was from our home town, an old lady with her daughter, and they found us in such condition and they were able to help us and they gave us clean clothes, do you know how fortunate we were? We felt like we were on top of the world! Good things happen to us. No sooner that we set down on that straw mattress or straw pad, we were full of it again and that is absolutely driving you crazy. If I had to endure that longer I don't think I would have come out of it in any sanity. I truly believe that. And um, that too, if people were sick they were afraid to go to the hospital because that meant that the hospital wasn't a place to cure, it was a dismissal place. Because if you weren't able to work then you were dismissed. So people carried sicknesses without... people walked around with the infected, I walked around with an infected frozen toe and I was afraid to go to the hospital.

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