Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Being Separated from Family

As I turned around to look where my parent--where my mother is with the younger kids, they were gone. With no thought. The SS said, "Go on quickly. Line up because you'll see them tomorrow or on Sunday, on weekends." Uh, I don't think they wanted to be kind. I think they wanted uh, uh, no chaos to break through. Order. The only thing that, as we marched down in five--we were so disoriented from all the travel and we're confused. And at that point, I have no family with me. I recognize some girls from my hometown. Um, three sisters, the Weis sisters, they lived across the street. One girl was a year older than me. Uh, they were in the line, the same group in the line. But standing right next to me, I'm surrounded by total--by strangers. I don't know anybody. Uh, I remember we were going through a street, on both sides, just a dirt road. Both sides, high fencing. On one side, I saw no people, lots of barracks. The other side--I have to tell you the truth, I thought it was a, a, a crazy place. The people looking at us--I couldn't tell if it was men or women--in rags, shaven heads, distorted figures, thin, lunatic like. And they kept on waving to throw--people should throw things. What they wanted is our clothing and our bags and whatever else we still have that we're carrying. You only know that after. That group doesn't know anything. The order was so immaculate. It was so...


...precise. That here I am, and on this next street is another person who knows what my fate is, yet I can't see it. But they all looked uh, inhuman. Something horrible. Uh, we were taken marching--we're not supposed to stop or talk or do anything. And uh, it's a whole process. I don't know if we got there early enough in the day. By the time we left the train, and by the time evening came, I have seen myself in the pla...in the same place as that crazy--what I thought at the time was a lunatic asylum or a place of--for weird, less than animal people. Barefooted, rags, sores, ugly, I mean, ugly. And, uh...

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