Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust

By Carol Rittner; John K. Roth | Go to book overview

just a few days. Then we were transferred to Neustadt Glewe 19 by train in cattle cars.

After liberation I was in a hospital. I was operated on several times for gangrene and then I refused to be operated on again. Finally we were repatriated, but I decided that I didn't have anything to go back to Poland for. I convinced my camp sister, Marta, to come with me to Belgium because one of the nurses was telling us that the best ice cream in the world was in Belgium. I said, "We are going to Belgium." We were flown there by the Red Cross plane and I stayed in Belgium for a year before I went with Youth Aliyah to Israel. I married in Israel in 1950. We came to the States in 1958, and after two years we went to Canada.

I find it very difficult to speak about it; I find it very difficult to remember, but I understand that this is my responsibility and I want to bring about the commemoration of the four girls who were executed in Auschwitz. This is what I wanted to do; this is the essence of my talk.

My Auschwitz number was forty-eight, one hundred and fifty. (48150) The numbers add up to Chai. 20 The girl who tattooed my numbers told me: "You are going to come out alive because your number is Chai."

Interviewed by: Bonnie Gurewitsch, 10/14/85


NOTES
1.
Lager A in the main camp, Auschwitz I.
2.
Prisoners stayed in the quarantine camp for a few weeks, where they were physically and psychologically "broken-in" to the inhuman routine and torture of the camp. ( Auschwitz 1940-1945, Guidebook Through the Museum, pp. 45-46.).
3.
Lager B, also in Auschwitz I..
4.
The Union Werke munitions factory was located near the base camp. ( Amidst a Niqhtmare of Crime, p. 155.) Its full name was Weichsall-Metall Union Werke.
5.
Esther Wajcblum, born in 1924. She was eventually executed for her part in smuggling the gunpowder.
6.
Explosives were brought from the Union factory by several women, including Esther Wajcblum, Alla Gaertner, and Regina Saperstein and given to Roza Robota, who worked sorting clothing and luggage in Birkenau BIIg, adjacent to crematorium IV.
7.
Roza Robota. According to Israel Gutman, a woman named Hadassah transferred the explosives to him or to a fellow prisoner in the Sonderkommando. ( Israel Gutman , Smoke and Ashes: The Story of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Israel: Sifriyat Poalim, 1957.) A footnote to the diary of Salmen Lewental says that it was Roza Robota who transferred the gunpowder to a Jewish prisoner named Wrobel. ( Amidst a Niqhtmare of Crime, p. 155.).
8.
Esther Wajcblum, along with other girls from the Union factory, was interrogated in Block 11, the punishment barrack of the men's camp. "The upper windows

-134-

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Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • ALSO BY CAROL RITTNER AND JOHN K. ROTH ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Photographs ix
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue Women and the Holocaust 1
  • General Suggestions for Further Reading 20
  • Chronology 22
  • Part One Voices of Experience 35
  • Notes 39
  • 1: Ida Fink 40
  • 2: Etty Hillesum 46
  • Notes 57
  • 3: Charlotte Delbo 58
  • 4: Isabella Leitner 65
  • 5: Olga Lengyel 69
  • 6: Livia E. Bitton Jackson 73
  • 7: Pelagia Lewinska 84
  • 8: Charlotte Delbo 99
  • 9: Gisella Perl 104
  • 10: Olga Lengyel 119
  • 11: Anna Heilman and Rose Meth 130
  • Notes 134
  • Notes 141
  • 12: Sara Nomberg-Przytyk 143
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 149
  • Part Two Voices of Interpretation 155
  • Notes 159
  • 13: Gisela Bock 161
  • Notes 179
  • 14: Marion A. Kaplan 187
  • Notes 207
  • 15: Sybil Milton 213
  • Notes 237
  • 16: Vera Laska 250
  • Notes 267
  • 17: Gitta Sereny 270
  • Preface 271
  • 18: Claudia Koonz 287
  • Notes 304
  • 19: Magda Trocmeé 309
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 317
  • Part Three Voices of Reflection 319
  • Notes 323
  • 20: Irena Klepfisz 324
  • 21: Charlotte Delbo 328
  • 22: Ida Fink 332
  • 23: Deborah E. Lipstadt 349
  • 24: Mary Jo Leddy 355
  • 25: Rachel Altman 363
  • Notes 372
  • 26: Joan Ringelheim 373
  • Notes 400
  • Appendices 406
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 419
  • Epilogue - Different Voices 421
  • Notes 426
  • Glossary 427
  • Index 431
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