Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lola Taubman - December 22, 2009

Food and Health in Camp

And what, what did you think when you--when this happened?

Ev...everything was not real, just a dream.

A dream.

Daughter: You know, they put drugs in the food.

So they say.

Daughter: She said that her mind was clouded by...

Well, they were malnourished.

Daughter: Right...

We were given chemicals in the coffee and in the food, but uh, well, you probably heard of that. We had no periods.


But other--but other benevolent people say, "Well it for--it was it was from hunger."

Yeah, that's what you said. Okay, I'm benevolent.

It could be, it could be.

And the severe stress...


...sometimes stops menstruation.

And the fear, fear.

And fear, yeah. But it was universal. Everybody--that happened to everybody.

Daughter: Supposedly they put saltpeter ???

Saltpeter right. They weren't that kind, I think.

Daughter: Right. But I think it was, I mean, I don't know if it was some--perhaps it was for some of the population, but not all. Or they experimented, I'm sure, with different things for what made people placid but still able to work.

The um, chemical companies all kept meticulous records. So we know everything that went into the, into the camps and there's no evidence that they did that, although they still might have done it.

Daughter: I have to say, you know, one thing my mother doesn't know is my father, who was in the metals business here, used processes that use the chemicals from Sandoz, which is one of the biggest chemical suppliers to the Nazis, was part of dad's business.

From Germany?

Daughter: You never knew that but...

Yeah, I know.

Daughter: ...but Sandoz pro...provided the dyes... A:???

Daughter: S-A-N-D-O-Z I believe, or S-Z...




Daughter: Sandoz.

Sandoz. Yeah, I remember that name.

Daughter: It was the supplier that made the dye for the aluminum products and they supplied a lot of the chemicals to the Nazis. Kind of ironic.

Yeah, well...

You know, I have another story. Uh, do you know uh, Elizabeth Weiss?

I do.

Yeah, well she had a sister who lived in Ann Arbor, Olga ???

I know her too.

Yeah, right. So uh, was it Olga? Olga with a lump in her breast in Auschwitz? Did you hear anything about that?


And uh, they couldn't help her in the little infirmary. They took her in the hospital, so her sister Elizabeth would take cigarettes and sew them among two pieces of cloth and put it around her waste to bribe the nurses. And, and they operated on her and she survived. It wasn't--we, we don't think it was cancer, but in the end she died of cancer in the United States but it, it, it wasn't breast cancer. It was lymphoma.

I think we have an interview with her.

You did?

Yeah, I didn't do it, I didn't do it but somebody else did it, I think.



She, she died young and her husband died young, too. He had a brain tumor. And the, the two boys are dentists in, in Ann Arbor, so everybody knows them. They were very involved. She was, she was talking in the university about her experiences.

That's how I know her actually.

Yes, yes. And uh, they had a business. Was it furniture?

Daughter: Curtains or something.


Daughter: Curtains or something like that.

That was Elizabeth ??? but they, they got a furniture business in Arborland.

Daughter: All of them--all of the sisters who were with my mother through the whole experience because they were on medical, also.


Agi, Agi and my aunt who died and my cousins, they died in Israel, some are living in Israel. We were ten girls ???

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