Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Description of Daily Routine

On one layer.

On one layer. Uh, bathrooms, there were none. They were uh, two toilets--not toilets--we called them, latrines. A barrack with holes right through it, all the way. For--one for the center of the camp, of the, the block, the whole uh, camp. And one towards the end. I think they had the same amount of washrooms. The washroom would be on the opposite side, on the uneven. And when the doors opened, they let us come out. I remember, they let us come out from jumping. Our routine was four, four-thirty in the morning, getting up and lining up outside. It was called zahlappell. Lining up in fives. Bitter cold. All we had is our clothing. I think we got uh, not a blanket each, but possibly four, the beds--for the bunks where we slept, say, four between us uh, which were sort of blankets--but when you have to line up, you had to line up in fives. So we'd stand there until the count was completed. Uh, I would only guess at it in saying there's about thirty-two thousand women in this small area. Uh, whether it's cold or it's raining, or whatever, I really--they, if the count isn't complete or there's a mistake, they have to count over, so you stand that many more hours. Uh, if someone dies in the sleep and it's not accounted for, you get punished by kneeling and raising your arms up until the person is found. Not necessarily in your barrack. It could have been across the street or somewhere else. Um, after that, they always had a, a, a crew, say, four, six, eight girls going to the kitchen and bringing back um, a huge um, one of those huge cans like um, food uh, carriers. Uh, sort of darkened water, it was called a tea. And uh, they had so many pots. And...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn