Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Escaping Selection

Um, I was very fortunate in the, in the barrack that I was in, in barrack A the uh, they had, she was from Poland, her name was Paula--still remember her. I understand she died. Her assistant uh, was uh, also from Poland. They would converse in Polish. Uh, I remember her telling um, talking to each other one night uh, it's very hard to go to sleep. And I was just in the bunk--on the top one--and uh, they were just standing below and they were talking. And I heard something about that there going to be a sorting the next day and I'm afraid from what I saw--I'm afraid of the children, they're going to be taken, as many as we were there. That put me--I still didn't understand it--that put me at an advantage or a, a pre...predisposed to the fact that there might--something is going to happen. Uh, and a day later, all of a sudden they--we're all asked to be inside. The back there's a gate at the front and the back of the barrack. It's weird and it's like a fireplace chimney that goes through the center of it. And there's like a little aisle one side and little aisle the other and then your bunks. As the gate opened, and nobody was allowed to go out the back. And I was sorted. We were asked to strip, nude. Raise your arm as you're going by. I don't know what they could tell, but how far my ribs were out probably. And uh, I was included in a group of uh, sick ones, young, old ladies. So I knew that the group was not for survival. This is already--we're talking already a few months in the camp. And uh, uh, I can't think that moment as we were being pushed over to the, to the right side of that barrack, that's where the, the, the head of the, the barrack, the Blockältester has her quarters--like her room uh, it's like a cabin door, closes up. And we were told to go in there and put our clothes on and then march out.

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