Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sara Silow - August 8, 1993

Start of War

Do you remember when, when the um, word came about what Hitler was doing to the Jews in Germany? Did anybody talk about German Jews during the 1930s?

In Germany?


Nobody talked with us.

Did you ever--were there ever any refugees who came from Germany--any Jewish refugees before the war started? Did you know about any of the Jews running away from Germany?


What about when the war started? Do you, do you remember the day the war started?

In 1939...


...before the holidays.

Do you remember what you were doing then? How did you find out the war had started?

We saw the Germans in streets with the SS.

That was, that was the first you knew?

Yeah, yeah.

What did you think?

This is very bad, a, a war. We then in the ghetto--later on they closed the ghetto. Before the ghetto was open we can go to the city. Later on, it was impossible. When they catch somebody out from the ghetto they kill right away. Yeah.

The ghetto was in the Baluty district, is that right?

In Baluty, they called this Baluty. The cheap...

You didn't live there before.

There were poor people who were living.

So, you didn't live there before?

No, no, no.

Did you--so you had to move?

We--sure, yeah. We moved in the ghetto to a house that this belonged to my mother's cousin. One room. I was living with my parents. And my father die over there in '42. In '44, we went to Auschwitz.


I went together with my mother and they make a selection. They said I have to go this side my mother on this side. So, I started crying and the SS men said, "Why you are crying?" I said, "They take away my mother from me." He said, "Tomorrow, you will see her." And now she is to make a selection they have to take off the whole--everything what we got on. Everything to make a selection--SS--when somebody got on, on, on something, like a little pink, to the o...oven.

Some blemish?

Yeah. I went to work and we were working all the time in--outside. We were not dress up, hungry. Just terrible for us, just terrible.

In the Lager? In Auschwitz?

Concentration camp. In Auschwitz later on for the--to work, yeah. One time we were working out...always outside--and I found paper from, from eh, from how you call this? What you use to buildings...

Construction paper?

Construction buildings--a sack--a paper sack. So I take with wire. In the morning, we went to work it was still dark so I put this on my legs. Then we were walking the wires stick on my legs and the blood was running because no, no stockings, nothing. Wooden shoes. Was just terrible, just terrible.

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