Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sally Tuchklaper - March 2, 1983

Being Taken to Auschwitz

And how long did you remain in this particular work camp?

I think we were there for a year and a half or something. A year and a half. Then they was--start to liquidate the camp and they transported us to Auschwitz.

Again, what type of transport was used?

Worse than were before--the first one. This was already a lot of people because this was a big camp and cattle trains we were sitting and that time we were a few days on the road.

And what were the conditions like on the train?

Awful. Terrible. 'Til we arrived at Auschwitz, we had plenty of dead bodies laying with us, just from the exhaustion.

Can you describe your feelings at that time?

I don't think we had any feelings. I think we gave up at that point. Because you know, you get--you can take so much. So we didn't know what's gonna happen: if we're going to that camp, a working camp. We didn't know where we were going. We didn't even know which place we're going 'til we arrived in the place and we saw the sign "Auschwitz."

Did Auschwitz, the name, have any particular meaning to you?

Yeah, yeah. But that--knew that we're going to never get out of that.

Had you heard anything about Auschwitz?

We knew that it is a labor camp, but we [cough] they didn't tell us anything about it 'til we came in. And how long we stayed there we had the experience; we saw what was going on. In that time, when we arrived, they separated right away the healthy one and the weak one, the old one and the young one, and the children separate, so we were going two different directions already. And the old one and the young one, we never saw them no more because that was the extermination camp, which they didn't bother to keep the people even to feed them one day. And the young people, which was the eighteen, nineteen, twenty-year-old, maybe a little bit older, they took us right away away to another camp to work.

Then how long did you actually spend at Auschwitz?

I spend in Auschwitz maybe seven, eight months, not more in Auschwitz.

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