Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sara Silow - August 8, 1993

Being Taken to Auschwitz

So, you hid in the attic and the Jewish police came and got you out.


Were they--did they--were they violent? Did they pull you out?

No, no.

Called you out?

"You have to go. You have to go." So no choice, we went.

And where did you go then? You left the house and what? Walked where?

This was a house near the cemetery. A place that took us [pause] I not remember.

Was there a Umschlagplatz? Was there...

Say to Auschwitz.

But there was--you walked to the railroad station first?


Marysinska Street?

Marysinska, Marysin...

Yeah, is that where it was?

...Marysin, they call this, Marysin, yeah.

On Marysin--on, on that street....


...do you remember what it looked like that day?

I was never before over there. Never before.

Were there a lot of people?


And there was a train waiting?

A train with the--for, for, for cattles.



Did you ever...

They were laying on the, on the floor, like, like the, the horses.

Did you have to wait to get onto the train or did you just...

No, right away.

Right away.

The sent us over there to Auschwitz.

Were you carrying suitcases? Bundles? Nothing?

They take away everything.

They took it right there?

Yeah. And when we came to Auschwitz the first thing what they are doing they are shaving our-- the hair from us. We don't recognize each other. We were looking like the monkeys, yeah.

You got on the train...


...you were with your mother?

To Auschwitz. When I came into Auschwitz was a smell from meat. This was from the gas chamber, yeah.

The crematorium.


You were with your mother, though?


Not your sisters, just...


And you got on the train.


What was the train like?

Like for cattles.

But, I mean the, the, the trip on the train. Was it dark, was it smelly?

Sure, sure. Dark, yeah.

Did you stay next to your mother?

I not remember how long this trip was but this was in Poland, Auschwitz.


But they called this before Oświęcim, another name, yeah.

What was it like in the boxcar? To be in the boxcar?

We are not thinking of nothing. We know that we are in trouble.

There was no toilet.


So, what did people do?

Nothing. Was just terrible. Just terrible.

Did you manage to stay next to your mother or were you separated from her?


You were with her? You didn't...

Yeah. But in Auschwitz, they make a selection. My mother right away went out of sight.

Were people crying in the boxcar, were they...

No, everybody was quiet.

Quiet. Did it smell bad?

No food, no, no drinks, nobody was hung...nobody was complaining.

Hmm. Was there any light?


No windows?

Nothing. Like for the cattles.

But no small window up in the corner?

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

Have you been to Washington--to the museum in Washington?


Do you know there is a boxcar there?


Yeah. One of the boxcars...

Charley wanted to go now. He was one time.

I know, I was with him.

Yeah. He wanted to go again with his wife. I said, "One time is not enough?" "No."


He wanted us to go, too, but I cannot.

You won't go? Well, there's a boxcar now. When, when the doors to the boxcar opened...


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