Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Moved to Birkenau

What happened as you were walking over?

We're walking, uh...

Where was the next place you were taken?

The next place they take us is to Birk...Birkenau. Huge building, pass a lot of buildings. Take us, they take us to this specific building. Huge entrance, lots of hallways. And they, there are some orders being given. "You leave all your clothes and your belongings at that specific wall. There are hangers, there are numbers, remember your number." Well, the only thing you're carrying are your shoes. I remember my shoes because my father had had the shoemaker put into my heel some jewelry, in case we ever needed it for food. And I remember having my shoes for a few months--we couldn't find no food. Uh, there uh, numbers and they tell you to remember your number. I'm so, I'm so preoccupied with thinking about that darn number--I don't remember the number--but the number, something about the number...

The number where you left your clothing.

...where you're leaving your belongings, so remember. But all of a sudden, as they're saying that, there comes towards the end a rush of people, more people and I see that a, a group of uh, Gestapo come in and they make this group of people uh, throw their stuff all in one heap. And all of a sudden it's hitting me, "Well, how they going to sort out their stuff out of that pile if, if you're supposed to remember your number?" But at the same time it is overwhelming because you're seeing mothers and daughters and children and ladies of the city and everybody's being asked to strip in the nude.

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