Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rose Wagner - August 14, 2002

Memories of Auschwitz

If I were to ask you what three things stand out most about your time in Auschwitz, what would you say?

The selection.

The initial selection.

Initial selection. And walking through nude in front of thousand guys and the head shaved. And go and sit on the bathroom there.

And uh, of course, two minutes--they gave you two minutes...

A couple minutes they gave you. And you walk out, go out in the winter there. It was so cold. But you know we had a, a Stuben. She was in charge of us. You know, each barrack had...

A Stuben.

Yeah, she was mean.


You know what, the one that they took charge of us, they got so involved in that and they were, they were just thinking about themselves, you know. When I see today a movie...

[interruption in interview] You know what, sometimes when I think I could talk for hours and now, I just don't remember a lot of things.

You were saying something about movies.

About what?

When you see a movie.

A movie? In Germany?

No, you, you just started to tell me when you see a movie...

Oh, you know, when you see a movie and you see that the bed and you're sitting and looking out. That's how I looked. Without hair, without...Skinny.

Of course there weren't beds were there?


There weren't bed were there?

No. It was a, we said a, we said a ???. ??? is a, like a, a bunk. You know bunk.


Like a bunk bed. It wasn't a bunk bed, but you had to, to go. It was a lower and then it was a upper.

And it was just boards.

Right, it was wood. And in the middle it was like a, like a oven with a chimney. Have you been to Auschwitz? Have you been to...

Next year I'm going.

Yeah. Not easy, not easy.

Well I've been to several camps in Germany.

Oh, you've been, so, you've been so.

Um, from the time the Germans came to the time you were liberated, were, were you frightened every minute of the d...of the day?



Always frightened, very frightened.

And was there anyone who would comfort you?

It's not my, it's not mein sister, we had an uncle. The uncle used to come to us, but just a couple times. As much as I remember, just a couple times.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn