Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rose Wagner - August 14, 2002


What do you want me to talk about?

Wh...wh...whatever, that's fine.

I went to Auschwitz, we went on one side. My sister and I were lucky that they sent us on one side. But usually sisters, when they recognize that they look alike they direct them out. So uh, so you know, they, they put us in, in a shower room. And I--and there was a big barrel where you had to put all your things in. Your diamonds, whatever, even gold teeth. So we threw in, we threw in, a lot of people followed it, you know.

And you threw the diamond in?

We threw the diamond in, in the barrel. And then we went to get and then we... and then they shaved us. And then we were walking in front of guys. All nude. Until we got to a, a house and they gave us clothes. So I got big shoes and my sister got small shoes. And she couldn't walk in the shoes. So we, we changed. And then they gave us clothes. And naturally when they took us to the, to the houses, to the fancy houses.


The barracks. We were in Auschwitz, I would say about five, six weeks.

This was what, '44?

Nineteen forty-four.

What was it like on the train?

Oh. It was--just, just unbearable to think about it. Unbearable the screams and the cries and the and--it just and people starving and hungry and hitting each other. Just unbearable.

What about um, toilet facilities?

There was a barrel there.

Just a barrel.

A barrel to go to the toilet.

It must have smelled pretty bad.

It was unreal. Just--it's just hard to imagine.

Did anyone die in the car?

No. You know what? If I talk about it today it's hard for me. For somebody, it's hard for them to believe that something like this you went through when you're still a kid.

So you're in the train with your sister. Were you holding hands? Standing next to--sitting next to each other. You don't remember?

Yeah, you know, I was very close with my sister you know, even though I was very close, she was watching me.

How long did it take?

The train? Oh it would take a whole night, a whole night, I think so. We left during the day, we left during the day.

How far is Łódź from Auschwitz?

You know, I don't know. It's not, it's quite a way. But not that far. But it took a long time to get on the train, for everybody to take people--don't forget that when I came to the train Rumkowski wasn't in the ghetto anymore. Rumkowski was gone. So they had like, I don't remember, like five hundred people that stayed in the ghetto. The five hundred people, I think they were cleaning out the apartments.

So this is the--right near the end.

It was, uh...

August '44.

That's when I went to Auschwitz. That's why I don't have a number, because they didn't have time to put numbers already.

It was late.

They kept shipping people out...


from Auschwitz.

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