Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Arriving at Auschwitz

Um, when you arrived at Auschwitz, what, what did you have with you?

We had our possessions from home, not...

What did you have?

Clothes, a blouse, a sweater, a coat uh, shoes uh, we had a ring too, we had things-- not spectacular, but we had clothes. We had our pictures of our parents. They took everything away from us.

Were you carrying anything with them?

Where? To the...

A bag, a purse?

Yes, we--I, I took a purse. And they said um, a Czechoslovakian Jew took away from me--no, I said, "Oh let me get the purse," by going down the hill just down--they had uh, they were wearing the clothes...

The striped?

The striped clothes, yeah. And they uh, what did they do, they uh, right away the boys--before I believe it was Mengele, but it was another German officer who directed, right and left, and at that time [pause] uh, boy before that, he was a Czechoslovakian also, but he was working there for long--they were there for two, three years before us...

A Czech Jew?

Czech Jew, yeah. And he want to separate me from my sister, because my sister was younger. At that time it was forty-four, she was fourteen or fifteen. She looked young. I pushed him away and I grabbed my sister, and I walked with her so tall and somehow the German let us go on the right side.

What did they do with the purse?

They took away everything.

You said they checked for...

Oh, I, I want to take the purse, and he told me in Polish, "I--I didn't know that the Polish Jews are so stupid." Because I was so stupid, because I, I wanted the purse. I didn't know they would take away, they kept us in the dark, even in the ghetto. I thought that this will be mine. I had pictures there of my parents, I had a lipstick. I--we still had things that we could buy on, I don't know, black mar...those stores near the border. So uh, he told me that I'm stupid--głupiec, głupiec is stupid I believe--that I need a purse. I, I--he meant that, probably, that nothing would be mine anymore. I'm not human being anymore, you know. So I was so stupid. Ignorant, I guess was more than stupid. And I uh, went through with my sister there.

Where was your brother?

They separated us. And he said, "Goodbye," my brother. They separated us, because we thought that they gonna take them for a bath, you know. We supposed to go to a bath, they told us--to be bathed uh, bathed. And uh, he said, after the bath, like he--we were walking and said, "After the bath, I'll see you." So ??? and ??? not ??? we had an uncle in South America ???. He's gonna write there too. if something should happen I should write to my uncle to South America. He will write too, my, my brother said so. He was our [sigh] he was like a father to us, in the ghetto. He was working, he was doing everything, just to be alive--to eat. To eat--the only thing to survive the war is to eat at that time, because there wasn't any food.

So he went in one direction?


And you went in another direction?


And did you see him after?

No. I never saw him, I never saw him. I have uh, somebody told me they saw him 1945 and she couldn't remember--a girlfriend of his, she went to school with him--she said, "I saw him!" And she couldn't remember was it two days before, a couple of days after the war. He was in Bergen-Belsen, in that terrible camp. And he said he looked good. He didn't wear the stripped clothes. He was wearing uh, because they didn't have any more--so many more stripped clothes. So we wearing dress, under dress. We had to have a different--I don't know how my brother, because I didn't see him, but my girlfriend told me--but we were wearing one sleeve was brown, the other one was black and we had the cross on the dress, from paint, that you know, like you paint here the walls, enamel paint. A cross here and a cross on the front. On the sleeve we had a yellow little thing, a number, and a red er, uh, red, rectangle. The red rectangle is supposed to be thief--no, not thief, poli...politics. We were Jews. We were automatically Communist.


A little triangle...


Yeah, a triangle and that was red. And then we had a yellow stripe and then we had a number, as the prisoner, on the white cloth and that--the dress came like that. So we couldn't run away, with clothes like this, wherever you go, they know that you're prisoner. That you are...

[interruption in interview]

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