Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lola Taubman - December 22, 2009

Relations with Other Inmates

Um, so we went through Ravensbrück where you saw lots of people dying and death.


And from Ravensbrück to...


Malchow. What happened in Malchow?

We didn't do anything. We were, we were--they were, sort of--it was an army camp, a German army camp, so we, we had rooms. And as I said, some rooms were bigger and some rooms were smaller. And I knew everybody that was in, in my room and we tried to help each other. You know, we slept like that and when one turned, everybody else turned. And the, the, the dresses were hanging, drying, and there was a woman from Munkacs, and she was working in the kitchen, and her mother was ashamed of her because she wouldn't help us. She could give us some food. I mean, I, I didn't go and approach her, but some did. And uh, but she, she survived and she got married after the war.

So were there still SS guards there?

Not too many, not too many.

Did you used--did you help each other when you were in Auschwitz? Was there a sense of camaraderie or was everybody out there for themselves?

Yes, yes, yes, we uh, you know, there was--I had cousins--three sisters and the oldest one was the nasty one. She didn't even stay in the same barrack with us, she stayed somewhere else. And she had the best boots and the best clothes in Auschwitz. I don't know how she got that, but uh, uh, she died of Alzheimer's in Israel and uh, uh, if she found something she wouldn't share it with her own sisters. So there were some bad people, too. And uh, but the ones we were close with--I had cousins on my mother's side and cousins on my father's side, and an aunt--a young aunt and uh, everybody was to, to herself or himself. If you found something--you found a piece of bread, you found a little sugar, so before the officers would come by you would do it under the table and put some sugar on, on the piece of bread and eat that, that was a, that was a treat.

And the first night you were there, they stole your bread.


What happened--when you woke up and found your bread gone...

I, I, I didn't, I didn't have anything to eat. I don't know. God gave us strength. We, we still were young and it was shortly after we arrived so we managed somehow until the next time when we got bread.

Were you disillusioned?

Yes, I said, "Where did I come to? Where did I come to, this wild world?"

Daughter: The one thing though that I think is very poignant, when they were on the transport train, her father told her...

Yeah, we, we were sitting on the--where we have our rucksack--you know what a rucksack is? Or, or, or suitcase. So my mother was sitting and my father was sitting next to my father and I don't even know the brothers, they were someplace in the same wagon and uh, he said, "They can take everything away from you, but the little education you got, they won't take that away."

And was that true?


I guess it was.

...I tried to get more of it. I tried to go--I went to Brooklyn, Brooklyn College one year and when I came to Detroit I went to Wayne University for a year.

Daughter: Her, her, her ability to speak many languages, I think was part of the key to her survival, and her ability to come here also because the circumstances under which she was helping translate helped her have a relationship with someone that got her papers eventually.

I was active in the student activities here at Wayne. I have friends from Greece, friends from Hungary. Eventually they went--they wound up to Uruguay because his father was there. And, you know what bothered me? Both the Hungarians and the Germans, they, they found a way to get away. They went to Spain and, and, and I heard that the Vatican gave them false papers, and uh, then they went to South America. I, I had dinner last night with a woman, she was from Bavaria and her father, I'm sure, was in the military and she went to good Catholic schools. But she married a Jew when she got here. But how did she come here? She had a friend who was married to a soldier and she--that friend finded--found a job for her and that's how she came to the United States. And I waited four years to come to United States. I was the last one out of the DP camp.

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