Protocol Nr. 2448

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Name: dr. L. I.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Ujpest
Date of birth: 1908
Place of residence: Újpest
Occupation: physician
Concentration: Budakalász brick factory
Ghetto: Ujpest
Camps: Auschwitz, Bergen - Belsen

The person in question has given us the following information: We did quite well in the ghetto of Újpest. We could go out and we were allowed to take in whatever we wanted. Although, we hardly spent a week there, when the gendarmerie beleaguered the ghetto and took us to the brickyard in Budakalász. We were not allowed to take more than a small package and blankets with us. A large number of people were crammed in the brickyard. We were not given any food. We ate what we had brought with us. People were beaten to tell where they had hidden their money and jewellery. When we left Újpest, a gendarme told us that we would never go back there. They entrained us in the brickyard. We were travelling for two and a half days. I worked as a doctor during the whole journey. People felt sick in every half hour in the terrible hot. The air became awful within the first half hour, because 80 people were travelling in the cattle car and they were suffocating. The old people fainted, children cried. Two Jews lived in the home for the blind in Újpest. Even those were collected and entrained together with us. They never opened the cattle car during the journey. The Germans too us over at Kassa, then they searched us and took away what the gendarmes had left. There was a big chaos and hubbub at the railway station in Auschwitz. Polish prisoners chased us off the cattle car. They told us to leave the baggage there and they would carry them after us later. I saw big flames and light in the distance and I did not know what that meant. As soon as we stepped off the cattle car, they separated us. The old, the ill people and the children were sent on one side, the young and able on the other. All these happened within seconds. We were still stunned from the fatigue of travelling, we could not comprehend what was happening to us. We went mechanically where they sent us. We were taken to a bath building. They stripped us naked before men and cut our hair everywhere. They took everything from us, we were not even allowed to keep a handkerchief, or a comb. After a hot shower we had to be standing naked in a cold room with a concrete floor. It was a very cold, damp night. Finally they hurled some kind of clothing at everybody. They were second-hand tattered linen clothes. They were not the least interested whether or not the size of the clothes fitted the one who got them. We arrived in Auschwitz in the evening, and when we finally got in the barrack it was 3 in the morning. The barrack was overcrowded, we could not find a place for ourselves but on the floor. Some days later I was taken to block “B3”. They woke us up early at dawn the next day. I got to know the slow torture system called Appell then. We had to be standing in lines of five for four- five hours every morning and afternoon. The lines had to be straight as an arrow and we had to be standing upright in attention in heavy rain, in blazing sunshine and in piercing cold. It was a horrible torment. At dawn it was still very cold. The freshly bared bald heads were very sensitive. We were not allowed to put on a shawl. Later the sun was scorching and many of us suffered burns. Those who could no longer stand, fainted; water was splashed on their faces and they had to stand in the line again. Even the half-dead had to line up for Appell. If the group was, for some reason, punished, we had to be kneeling down in the clay and mud. SS men and women and block wardens beat us. Usually everybody beat us. We spent most of the day with Appell and with lining up for food. There was a period when I carried stones. Once we were pushing a barrow of stones with a friend of mine, who was also a physician. An SS man came there and slapped me on the face so hard that my head hummed, than he left without a word. Later I was assigned to serve as a doctor. In general they took the female physicians more willingly. Part of the male doctors pushed latrine cars in Auschwitz. Patients received quite good treatment in the hospital. The medicine allocated to the hospital was little, but we did what we could for the patients. We often managed to get medicine from the Kanadakommando or in some other way. I met Dr. Mengele every day in the hospital. He was definitely an Adonis. He was extraordinarily nice and friendly to everyone. Even a physician could not notice anything abnormal about him. When he was in the neighbouring lager, it spread from mouth to mouth: “Mengele is coming!” “Mengele is here!” and the sick-ward began to swarm like a beehive. He had a mania for cleanness. He made the biggest scandal if a bedpan was not scrubbed off until it was brilliantly clean. He took it amiss if the blanket was creased on the bed of a patient. He checked whether the patients received their medicine. He had a horror of itch. If he saw it on somebody or if somebody had only a little spot on the skin or the slightest sort of rash eruption or skin disease, he sent the person to the gas chamber for sure. Otherwise he made the selections completely at random. He was humming and whistling all the time. We never knew from what point of view he selected people. Every selection meant a horrible excitement. Physicians were not selected. I tried to hide whom I could in the hospital. It was awful whenever a transport arrived. I had known by then what fate was in store for them. The chimney of the crematorium was blazing after the selections. It illuminated the sky at night. When they began to close the camp, he sent the patients to the gas chamber too. In the beginning he examined them and sent only the serious cases to the gas. Later, however, he did not even look at them, he did not want them to undress, he only waved, which meant death. From among the 500 patients in the sick- ward only 92 survived. They stayed there until the Russians came in. I was taken to Bergen-Belsen with one of the last transports. That journey was tormenting. Belsen was a death camp. People died of hunger literally. There was also typhus fever, but most of the people were killed by diarrhoea. Men had less energy. They became totally despondent. For example, we had a possibility to wash, but only women washed. Although, we had been in such a bad condition by that time that we found the smallest motion difficult to do and it was an extremely tiresome journey for us to go out of the block. People were frightening. Huge men lost weight until they weighed only 35 kilos. Dead bodies were lying everywhere. They began to empty the lager early in April. I stayed there, though, together with the last people and the Americans liberated us on 15th April. They were horrified at seeing the living and the dead who stayed in the camp.
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