Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Wimmer - January 1, 1985

Arrival at Auschwitz

When we came down to Auschwitz, this picture is just undescribable. The big wire, electric wire fences. Right on the first fence when we walked down from the train was a man hanging electrified this way. He was hanging like this with his hands and feet stretched out. Well, we saw this we, we--in our minds--to our minds went through that this is exactly what will happen to us. Well, marching in, again five in a row, we all marched down. We came in. We saw Appells. They were called in German, "Appell." Appell means they didn't behave or they talked to people, did something wrong. So, they took out the whole uh, uh, barrack. Let's say this particular barrack could be 500 people. They took them all out and they told them like to stand on the hand and knee, down with the head, naked completely. No, no clothing whatsoever. This is how we--this--those were the first pictures we have seen. It was tragic, very tragic. We couldn't turn this way or the other way. We had to march--go on. Well, the gas chambers. Next, close to the gas chambers were the washrooms and we had to go first to the washrooms, undress. When we came to the washrooms, it was an experience that I wouldn't wish for animals to go through something like this. First of all, it was men standing there and we had to undress and the majority of us were young girls. We had to undress completely naked and they said to leave every remaining right there where you stand. And again, they said jewelry, gold teeth, crowns, whatever, everybody has to remove and bring over to the certain area. And again, whoever had something the possessions, private things, had to go over and return them over there. Turn them in. And then we went to the washrooms. When we went through the washrooms, it was so panicky. It was so, it was so scary. There were showers and, and we went through and we left all the clothes. And we went through the whole--there were long, long rooms. We went through the rooms and we came out of one back door and there was a big lot area. And maybe 100 feet, or maybe a little bit more, I don't recall correctly, were the gas--was the gas chamber. We were sitting over there and the thousands of young woman were sitting there. Now, I didn't mention that men were separate from woman. The men went separately; the women went separately. We did not go together. Men and women did not go together, but in the washrooms were men operating the washrooms. As we sit over there naked, the sun was burning. It was unbearable. We, actually, hoped that we will die soon because it was unbearable. There were one uh, lady who was from our hometown. She was sent to Auschwitz way before us for some reason. She recognized us. We were--they shaved our heads, the, the, the hair. They shaved completely. We were sitting with zero here on our heads. No clothes and yet this woman recognized us five sisters. We were sitting together. As she saw us, she start crying and every--she give us a pat and she says, "Girls, I can't say much but good luck." Of course, in Yiddish. And all we said to her, "A little bit of water. Could we get a little water?" And she said, "I will try." She did. She did try and she got us a little bit, something, a container with water, and each of us gave a sip of the water. And the other people, unfortunately, there wasn't enough to share with too many, but they were dying for thirst. We didn't care so much about the food, but it was so hot. It was probably 105 or 10 degree. And here, no water, no food, nothing. And here we see the chambers. It's burning. The gas chamber is burning. The smoke. We, we, we see it and, yet, nothing. Nobody could say anything. No one knows nothing.

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