Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Reason for Surviving II

The only time I was really approached was when I told you when we were, we were taken to Nuremberg from Auschwitz, when, when this--whether it was Dr. Mengele or another doctor, because they're al...always doctors, you know. As a--they said they needed a doctor for a nude body to take a look what they made, made it look like--it was skin and bone. I, I don't think I weighed more than forty-seven pounds when I was liberated. Uh, when he said, "But you're so young," and I said with as much uh, uh, what do you call it? Determination--assured sort of smiled and I said "But I'm very strong and I can work." And uh, but I had been going under the age of sixteen for all the years without remembering 'til about oh, a few years back and, and it floored me. And that's what it was. It was to uh, because I wanted to be in Nuremberg, I said I was older because fourteen year olds were just--wasn't given a chance. There were no gas chambers there--but the fear that they could always ship you from here. And they did. Some camps liquidated their people and sent them back to--or they had, they had Buchenwald, they had other places--Mauthausen, they had, these were little places. Anyhow, that's how I made it and I'm going to be fifty-two. Uh, no I'm actually glad, almost glad that you interviewed me because uh, uh, there's a kinship--I don't know if you understand what I'm saying--if you know the background of your folks. You realize some of--you recognize some of my background, okay, you, you're aware of what I'm saying even if I don't explain myself. But as far as my kids, my son knows very little. The only thing I remember my son used to be ashamed when we lived in Livonia and in the area where I lived there was just by Inkster Road there by Six Mile--there was very few Jewish people. Where your parents lived there was a lot more.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn