Protocol Nr. 3308

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Name: S. H.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Bilke
Date of birth: 1910
Place of residence: Bilke
Occupation: teacher
Ghetto: Beregszász
Camps: Auschwitz, Rawensbrück, Malchow, Leipzig, Wurzen

The person in question has given us the following information: I lived in Bilke; my husband and I were both schoolmasters. When the Hungarians came in both of us were dismissed from our jobs, so we were both unemployed. About 200 Jewish families lived in the community; they were generally poor people. At the end the inhabitants behaved in a very bad manner towards us, because they were so successfully set against us. The gendarmes collected us and we had to leave our homes in a way that they barely left us any time to pack up. So we were taken to Beregszász. My husband had not been with me by then, because he had been taken as a labour serviceman to Russia. We have met just now, but sadly, only one of his legs has remained. So I left from home with my parents and my two sisters. I also had four brothers, who had not been at home by that time either and unfortunately I do not know anything about them. We stayed in the ghetto of Beregszász for four weeks; all our valuables were taken away from us and the gendarmes hit us and beat us during the four weeks and also when they were driving us to the cattle cars. Their whips stroke inhumanely both the old and the young. 72 people were put in our cattle car. We travelled for four days to Birkenau. We received some water and bread once during the whole long journey. As soon as we arrived in Auschwitz they separated us from our parents immediately and I have not heard from them ever since, but I know that they burnt them. I was left together with my two sisters. We were taken to a block; we got one single dress, while they took off the one we were wearing. They stripped us and bathed us. We were standing for Zählappell already at dawn. Later it went on just the same: we got up for Zählappell at dawn; it lasted for hours and our main task was the same endless standing in the afternoon, in rain and in cold just as well. On one occasion they moved me from our camp, which was Camp A, to the Brezsinka. There we sorted the things they had taken away from the people who had arrived with the transports, together with the clothes they were wearing. There were a lot of things to see because in the beginning the courtyard was open and we could see both the arriving transports and the selections. The sight is horrible even to think of: as the endless rows of tired people tortured to death arrive and they go directly to death. Because the old people were taken directly to the crematorium, as soon as they had arrived from the train, together with the mothers with infants in their arms and many children too. If I did not know it for certain and if I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not think such an inhuman act could possibly happen. But I saw so many of them going straight through the gate of the crematorium; the crematorium was working day and night, the flames erupted high into the air as if the cries of those going into the fire had made the flames rise even higher, so that the skies had mercy at last on the horrible pain of people and put an end to the terrible suffering of innocent children, of young mothers and dear parents. When we were going to work we often met completely naked young girls, who, poor things were already thin and they were being taken to the crematorium. They were looking ahead stiffly; they knew what would happen to them and maybe they did not even mind it any longer. We all were prepared to die. Once, when all 2,000 of us were going to work at the Kommando, we were suddenly stopped and we were taken to the bath. Many of us who were thin were taken first aside and then to the crematorium. I stayed among the labourers and worked for six months in Auschwitz. I worked at the Brezsinka for six weeks, then they assigned me to work at the weaving mill. There we had a very hard job and the terribly rough treatment was even less bearable than that. Our camp was tolerable, but 16 people slept on a place sufficient for one person. The food was also very little and we lived like that, if that can be called a life, up till January. Then Auschwitz was evacuated, that is how three of us got in a transport. We were sent towards Ravensbrück and we covered very great distances partly by train, partly on foot in a terrible winter frost. When travelling, we were taken in open freight cars, so we almost died of frost and for two days we went without any food. That was the march when my sister was shot down, because she was not able to go on any longer. One can imagine in what mental and physical condition we arrived in Ravensbrück. As I have mentioned already, we had not eaten anything for two days, and we arrived there at night. We were standing waiting outside till the morning and we got nothing else to eat, then a little black coffee on the following day at noon. Then they accommodated us in tents, although it was in the winter and there were no beds. We did not sleep for four weeks but only in a crouching position. Then I had another serious loss: that being a place of selection, my other sister was separated from me, so I was left completely alone. Later I was also put in a transport and I was brought to Malhow. Our circumstances were not any better there either; we were not given to eat more than half a litre of water which was called soup, and one eighth of a loaf of bread a day. There we did not work at all, it is true, though due to the torments we had suffered we had already been so weak that we would not have been able to work anyway. We spent seven weeks there, then they took us to Leipzig. There we stayed only for one week. We had to hurry away from there too, because the “enemy” was approaching. From there we set off on foot; we were marching for thirteen days and we were liberated on the way. During that march we received some potatoes and a spoonful of rice once in two days; they did not give us any bread at all and we were so hungry that we ate grass. The Americans liberated us on the way. They took care of us, miserable people, in a warm-hearted way and we received so much love from them that we were not used to, since we had been exposed to the evilness of the most inhuman, cruel beasts for a year. My plans for the future: I do not know what I will do as yet. I would like to work very much and I wanted to go to Palestine, but the condition of my poor husband makes it impossible.
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