Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sara Silow - August 8, 1993

Life in Poppenbüttel

They're, they're building bungalows?

They were building bungalows, yeah, and we already carried the, the--such a heavy stove and everything was just terrible. Such a hard work. They give us--for, for the beginning they give us a soup for work. Later on only black coffee and the piece of bread that they give us when we went to work, yeah. When we came back from work they give us a soup.

So, this was just outside Auschwitz?

Auschwitz. No, no they call this Poppenbüttel.

Was it near Auschwitz?

Who knows.

Did you...

I believe it is not.

You took a train--they took you on a train?

Yeah. And some time we went to eh, to work to--how you call this, um? A big city.

Hamburg. Were you near Hamburg?

Hamburg, yeah, yeah.

When you were in Auschwitz and they--did they have a selection then for you to go to work?


So you-- they lined you up and somebody--and in the selection, what did you think was going to happen?

I was thinking nothing. What I know? Nobody was--don't know what can happen with us. We don't know what they will do to us.

Do you remember anything else about Auschwitz while you were there?

No. After so many years and what I went through what can I remember?

Do you remember the Appell? What was the Appell like? The roll call?

The Holocaust?

The roll call, the Appell? Wasn't there an Appell? The Appellplatz?


Do you remember that?


You didn't have to come and stand on the, on the Appellplatz? In Auschwitz?

No. I remember one thing. Was a selection the SS mens take off the whole clothes and they were looking all over. Go here and then tell everybody they would like it over there and that's all. They send us to work.


To Poppenbüttel. The place they call Poppenbüttel. They got barracks over there. Barracks.

Now, when you took that train, was it also a cattle car?


The train to Poppenbüttel.

To Poppenbüttel, I not remember which one we went. I don't know.

So, what kind of work were you doing there? Building bungalows. That is where you were building them?

We were carrying the things for the builders.

For the builders.

Yeah. In the one place the, the, the buildings--they shot down so we got to clean up. It's heavy stuff, heavy stuff from the--to clean up so they can build something different, yeah.

How long were you there, do you know?

I don't know. Until we were liberated--no, because the war was near so they send us to, to Bergen-Belsen. In Bergen-Belsen it was just terrible. We were not working.

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