Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land

By Sara Nomberg-Przytyk; Eli Pefferkorn et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Lisette had a strange face. It was as if it consisted of two elements that did not match. Her chin and jaw were sharp. You would think that they were those of a crude person, even an evil one. But her cheeks were round and flushed. She had an upturned nose, happy hazel eyes, and while I cannot remember the shape of her mouth, I do recall that there was always a cheerful smile on her lips. I must admit that her smile actually annoyed me. I met Lisette in Auschwitz in 1944, at the most dreadful period, when the sky over the camp was always red and the air reeked with the odor of burning flesh.

It was a macabre summer. There were times when I felt as though everything happening around me was unreal, that it must be the product of a sick imagination. Transports kept arriving day and night, and most of them went straight to the gas. Young, healthy women were instantly inscribed in the book of death. Completely naked, they were herded to an enclosure behind barbed wire. There they waited, under the July sun, without shade, without food, and without water.

The day was one marked by unusual bustle and activity. Trains arrived and departed. The Germans bellowed whenever someone tried to disrupt the established order, whenever someone failed to stand squarely in the line of death, whenever someone tried to hold on to a single valise that remained of all her possessions. All of the activity proceeded at a quickened tempo so that the people would not have a minute's respite during which they might stop to think and perhaps plan some opposition to their captors. "Schneller, schneller,"* the Germans barked, and the people running from the clubs and guns fell inevitably into the German whirlpool. At the very entrance to the bath house stood the camp doctor, the celebrated Mengele, beautiful, elegant, with a smile that inspired trust. With a careless motion of his hand he directed some to the right and some to the left. Women with children, old people, the

"Faster, faster."


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 185

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?