Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - August 9, 1995

Transport to Auschwitz

Tell me about the transport.

Well ah, ah, the transport, you see this was a, a brick factory so the railroad came right there and they just took people and according to age, kind of and so forth, so on. And they put them into these wagons. Seventy, eighty to a wagon and ah, they locked up the wagon and they took them. Where we go, why we go, what, we never knew.

Had you ever heard of Auschwitz?


Your grandmother? You said you helped your grandmother into the car.

Well, well ah, na, well I was there, I helped her and a lot of people were there. A lot of people were there. But the last thing she asked me, "Leibela, wie gehen wir?", where are we going? I didn't have the slightest idea.

She called you Leibela?

Leibela, yeah.

Was that your Hebrew name?

That's my Hebrew name, Meir Leib, yeah that's my Hebrew name.

What did you answer her?

I couldn't, I couldn't and if... I mean a scene like that, I mean this is a real scene, a real human being, probably she will die in the next couple days. Well, I didn't knew, I didn't knew. And then by then, you know, you couldn't have a discussion with her. The Germans where there and I uh, went in a different barrack with my parents, in a different wagon, these cattle cars.

Can you describe to me what that cattle car was like?

Well, the cattle car, the cattle car....can you imagine seventy people, children and everything, and this cattle car didn't have any hygiene facilities. They never opened the door. It took three days to get there. They didn't give us water, they didn't give us nothing. We stopped in a few station... railroad stations. They cleared off everything so we didn't, we seen people inside the building, but we didn't got in contact with nobody, we didn't got nothing. And that, that, that railroad, that railroad car, what happened there again, again, ah, ah, I don't know if I could do it today, I'm sure not. It's, it's, it's unbelievable that any people, any people can do that to human being.

Were people dying in the car?

In the car, in my car, nobody died. I know, I know, you see again, the sick, the old, the very old, they put them in different car. So in my car there was young people with children, so nobody died in my car. Now if my grandmother didn't made it to Auschwitz, I don't know. This is the last time I'd seen her.

So you were on the cattle car for three days?


With your parents?

With my parents.

You're sitting together, standing together?

Standing together mostly. At night we tried to sit down you know, but everybody, to make room for everybody, it was, it was, together yes sir. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn