Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Wayne - 2005

First Impression of Birkenau

When you went to Auschwitz, um...

We went to Birkenau, actually first.

To Birkenau. Do you remember when the doors opened? What was...

It was horrible.

...first, was your first impression?

Well, that was when we got there with the, with the, this doctor uh, what's his name...the doctor?


Mengele was there with the dogs and everything else. So the first thing that when they took us they took us all to big, big buildings. Took everything away from us, except the shoes and the belt. Stripped everybody naked, gave us uh, some stuff to put on, prisoner clothes. And uh, the first night we were all laying on the floor, one on top of the other. I mean, it's, it's no way to describe anything even.

Did they disinfect?

I happened to be still very, very young so I could take it better than some other uh, older people.

Did they disinfect you?

Oh sure, shaved us, every, every, you know.


Lysol, whatever they, you know. And then, it's unbelievable. That's why it was so bad that after the first few days when we had a chance to sign up for, for uh, labor camp--this was like a distribution camp--me and my brother signed up. Then, then it came from, from bad to worse. They sent us to a, to a uh, coal mine camp.

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