Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Wimmer - January 1, 1985

Life in Ravensbrück

When we came into this camp, this was such a horrible tragedy. What we have seen there and the thousands of piles with dead bodies, skeletons. Undescribable eh, beyond recognition. It was just bones left and they were laying in piles, not covered, in the thousands. And not just one pile, in the hundreds of piles. This is what we passed until we came to our destiny to the, to the barrack where they assigned us to be in. Evidently, they did not have enough time to burn all these people. The chambers were not big enough so they had piles with dead bodies and smelling and it was hot. It was unbelievable. How people didn't die--well many did, in the thousands did, but I mean, how, how anybody could survive under circumstances like this. So um, they, they took us to, and I will never forget the number of this barrack was twenty-six, and 500 girls were sent in there. There was no place. There were no beds, no, nothing, nothing, just, not a floor, just the earth, ground, just the, the uh, not even sand, just black dirt. That's all. This is how they sent us in, 500 women. And the panics and the cries and they were uh, our own people who were in charge of this. Not from our camp, but from other, other places. They were familiar already. They knew what, what is coming for us. It was so terrible. Again, we had not much than those uniforms what we had in our camp. That's all what we--the possessions. Nothing to eat in, nothing. They, they said, said to us we should stay in five, in line, and as we stayed in line five, we should sit down. This is the positions how we were sitting and sleeping and eating. In five. Luckily we were five sisters. So we were sitting like, like this. My sister in between. I was the youngest. I was last one. My older sister was the first one. This is how we were sitting. This is how much space we had. The space was maybe uh, uh, not a half a foot from the other five, the row of five people. This how we were sitting. Hungry, thirsty, dirty uh, we needed to go to the ladies. There were no ladies room until we finally--we found out where the places to go. It was unbelievable. Commotion, screams, yelling, unbelievable. And they tried to calm people down and we'll try our best, but there was nothing to try. There was no--it was unbelievable. Really unbelievable. When I talk about this, I just can't believe that I really lived through all this trauma, this, this tragedy. When we were sitting there and waiting and waiting, hopefully they will come with some food. So, they, they had big cans. They, they rolled in big cans of food, quite a few into this big barrack. It was a long, long barrack. The food came in and the five were sitting in the rows and waiting. They started on the other line, on the end of the other side. We were the last one toward the other end. When they came toward us, no more food tonight. We run short. There was nothing to eat. Here we are laying, worn out, exhausted, tired, hungry, sleeping, worrying what will happen the, the, the dead bodies are laying. Tomorrow or maybe uh, two days from now our bodies will be laying out there. Things went through our minds. Worrying, unfortunately, we left our parents and families behind. What happened to them? If they didn't--their piles are not here, maybe. Unbearable and unbelievable. So, we were waiting 'til the following day. The following day during the night, how can one sleep like this. So, we stood up and we moved around a little bit in the same place. During the night we needed to go so we asked--there was always somebody up watching so we asked can we go. We need to go to the ladies. So they--one at a time. We came back, back to this little place where we were sitting. We, we waited until the following day. In the morning, the sun is out, warm uh, hoping there will be something. So, they come with--came with black coffee, black coffee. So, they had one big pot for the five girls. In this one pot came the coffee. Everybody gave a sip. The first one in the row, sip and hand it over to the last one and then we handed back and this until it was at the end of the coffee. The same thing went for the food. When the food arrived, they only gave no spoons, nothing, we had to sit, whatever it was. If it was soup or if it was a potato, this is how we had to eat. A bite of the potato; the other had a bite of the potato. It was the soup so we had to wait 'til it cooled off a little bit and, and hand it over from one to another to it. Animals are not treated like this. This is--whoever says now--when I read or I hear that people have nerve to say that this is a story, a made-up story that the war--there was not such a thing as camps and Auschwitz and, and torturing uh, six million Jews and, and millions and millions of others were tortured just the same, but most of us, most of us Jewish people, and how can one now come out and say when--we are the living witness? We, we went through this. I was asked many times, many times--I will never forget.

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