b. Uzhorod, Czechoslovakia (became Ungvár, Hungary), 1928
I saw it. I am an eyewitness.
Thousands of people arrived at Auschwitz every day. The Nazi murderers couldn't burn all the bodies in the crematoriums—they weren't big enough. They quickly came up with a solution. They burned the bodies in pits. And this went on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for years.
The flames were sky high, like a towering inferno. The smell was awful, throughout the camp.
As if this wasn't enough, they shot people. They shot them outright, for no reason.
They hanged people.
Many times when we walked back from work to the concentration camp, we saw gallows erected. We knew there would be an execution.
The Nazis picked people to be hanged randomly. They made us watch the executions, and they left the bodies hanging there until the next morning. Then as we walked to work, they made us stop, and they told us to look at those bodies.
Each day, they selected people and killed them. They selected lots of women, young ones and not so young ones. They put them on open wagons. All the women believed that the Nazi murderers were taking them to be killed. I see them even today, crying and begging us to pray for them.
Don't think that if you weren't killed the first day, your life was spared. Each day we stood in line for roll call while those murderers counted heads.
Sometimes they selected people to be killed, and sometimes they selected people for work. But they never told us where they were taking us.
One day the Nazis counted eight hundred people—and my mother, my four sisters and I were among them. We were sure they were going to kill us in the gas chambers. We walked, getting closer and closer to the inferno. We were so scared, so frightened. People were crying, praying, and saying goodbye to each other.