b. Hrabovo, Czechoslovakia, 1923
I arrived in Auschwitz around May 1944. The SS men were waiting for us. As we got off the train, there was panic, screaming and crying. After we were separated, we were taken to a place where we were shaved and changed into gray dresses.
What happened to our families, we did not know at the beginning. But we soon found out what the big chimneys were for.
We were put into overcrowded barracks with very little food. We were completely stripped of human dignity. Every morning we awoke at 4:00 A.M. to stand in the cold, rain, and all kinds of weather, while we were counted. It took hours.
There were selections every week during the six weeks I was in Auschwitz. The sick and the weak were selected and gassed. After the six weeks we were taken to Kristian Shtat to work in the ammunition factory, where we made guns.
The living conditions were a little better, but the work was a lot harder. We built railroad stations by cutting down trees in the woods.
Since the Allied and Russian fronts were closing in on us, we had to leave. We started to walk in January and walked for about six weeks. The weather was very cold, and we had no winter clothes. Most did not survive.
We marched to Bergen-Belsen. The Nazis had dumped all the prisoners there from all the other camps. There was no food or water; we were just waiting to die. We had to drag the dead bodies to one mass grave. We got sick from typhus. If the English army had not liberated us within a few days, none of us would have survived.
I was taken to a military hospital with malnutrition and typhus. I stayed in the hospital for three months. Then the Swedish Red Cross took us to Sweden for rehabilitation. Finally, we had new hope for life.