Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rose Wagner - August 14, 2002

Knowledge of Gas Chambers

You saw the smoke. Um, how did you find out?

You know what? You saw it. It was around you.

So no prisoner said it.

It was around...

It didn't smoke?

No. We knew that, that they, some people went into the shower and they, they gassed them. We knew about it. We were just plain lucky that they let us go.

And were there any--you said there's one woman who was a guard at, was it...

In Auschwitz?

Was it in Auschwitz or was it in Czechoslovakia?

Oh, Czechoslovakia too. A German woman there. She was a guard, she was watching us.

Do you remember any of the guards in, in Auschwitz?

I remember the woman.

Just the woman.

I wouldn't recognize her, but I remember her short and heavy. I remember her. Terrible.

Also vicious.

Very vicious.

Were you ever beaten there?

No. I wasn't beaten. Like I said, I had a blanket covered when I, when I went in the morning for the Appell. And it's a good thing they didn't see it. If they would see it, I would be in big trouble.

You used to try to stand in the back.

When we came to Czechoslovakia to work, the first thing--they had some people--you see, a lot of Jewish women right away they tried to get busy. So they were calling out who's a shoemaker and who's a dressmaker, who's that, you know? So people that they even, they were not shoemakers.

Well of course, to try and save...

Try--everybody tried to save themselves.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn