Protocol Nr. 3523

scanned image
Name: K. S.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Sirok
Date of birth: 1916
Place of residence: Budapest
Occupation: housewife
Camps: Auschwitz, Bergen - Belsen

The person in question has given us the following information: On the 20th of March 1944, arriving from Kolozsvár I was about to jump into a taxi with two of my friends when Hungarian policemen captured me and escorted me to the police station at Keleti railway station, where already a lot of Jews were kept. We were waiting for a while and finally heard the police officer saying "All in detention!" We marched through dark streets packed with luggage and kept pleading with the policemen to let us go. They said “I am really sorry for you, but we cannot do anything since you have been counted.” It belongs to one of the worst memories of my life when having arrived in the lock-up I saw the faces contorted with terror of Jews behind the bars expressing their despair. I only realised now what had indeed happened to us. An unfriendly policeman stepped up to us and jammed us into a jail, where the windows had gratings and it was terribly cold. We could not sleep and got nothing to eat, not even the day after. We stayed together with prostitutes, who asked us when we were going to break free. I responded that they were going to be freed earlier since we were Jews… We lay pressed to each other on the floor, on some iron cables without covers. Later, they brought other Jewish women so we had no place inside any more, and we lay outside on the cold concrete floor. Nights were the most awful because of horrible overcrowding. We suffered incredibly. Four days later, they led me to see the police officer, who interrogated me and instructed the orderly to take me away. 28 of us remained in the lock-up, since very many people could get free using forged documents. They put us in a huge room, where it was terribly cold. We kept hearing the alarm of patrol cars that carried Jews in the lock-up. A week later, they led us on foot to the railway station of the suburb train, and an hour later we arrived in Kistarcsa. When we arrived, they counted us in the yard, took us in a huge hall, where they newly searched our luggage. They seized all valuables I had, and put them in a great envelope that I had to sign. We did not lack food as I was sent food from home. They disinfected us, gave us back our own clothes but earlier we had to stand naked for hours in front of men. Six weeks later, we saw that all prisoners, including political ones, were standing in the yard ready to depart. They told us we were going to go to Sárvár to work on the lands. We lined up in fives and they counted us. The police officer declared he would shoot anyone who just moved a bit. They took us to Keleti railway station, where I tried to escape but unfortunately, I failed. One of my friends managed to run away till the next street (Rottenbiller street) where they captured her and wanted to shoot her to death. A German officer said they should leave her, that is, lead her back to the transport because in any case she would be executed in Germany. There were 60 of us in a locked cattle car, but in the next second we had to get off while they kept beating us. They newly entrained us and now there were 70 of us crammed inside. They counted us three times and the German officer said we would be decimated if they did not count the same number on arrival. Hungarian policemen and SS soldiers managed our entrainment. They never opened the door of the car, and there was no opportunity for drinking or for the toilet. After two days and nights of horrible suffering we arrived to our destination: Auschwitz. They opened the door of the cattle car and Jewish men in striped cloth entered it and asked about our nationality, whether there were children and old people among us, and told us that they would carry our luggage to our place. So we left the packs in a great bunch. We passed in fives in front of the camp doctor Dr Mengele and commander of the camp Kramer, and several SS soldiers. They said that whoever felt weak or pain in the legs should jump in the car with the sign of a red cross. They asked if there were doctors, pharmacists or chemists amongst us. A friend of mine was a chemist and reported it. We were all moved by the fact that Germans carried the weak and the sick by cars. Dr Mengele asked another comrade of mine how old she was, and when she replied “46”, she was selected for work, too. A friend of mine went to Dr Mengele and asked him to let another comrade of ours get on the car because she had a heart disease. She also got a place in a car, and unfortunately these people were all sent to the gas chamber. We arrived during the day and could see tidy gardens with flowers and could hear music. They led us into a block, into the so-called "Brezinka", where we spent half a day. Slovakian Jewish women immediately gave us tattoos. It belongs also to the worst memories of my life when we had to pass stark naked in front of the lines of SS-men with bayonets. Slovakian women inspected us while we had to hold our hands high. They led us to a long corridor, where Polish men newly inspected us. Then came disinfections; they cut our hair short, gave us thin summer dresses and high-heeled shoes in return for our own clothes. They put a red mark on the back of our clothes. They sent me to Camp A. We lived in stone barracks. Three days later, an SS soldier entered and said we had to go to work. It was quite cold, and we had to carry 50 kilos heavy cement sacks while the SS kept beating our backs with huge clubs. They declared that the road needed to be ready in ten days because all Hungarian Jews would arrive. We went to work at 1 pm and worked till 9 pm beaten and chased continuously. Three days later we saw with great anxiety that indeed newer transports arrived. One morning the block leader entered and said we were assigned another work. We were heading towards Brezinka and were convinced they would lead us in gas chamber because we were walking towards the crematoria. They commissioned us to work in Brezinka. We had to sort out the clothes of the people who arrived with the transports. Treatment and rations were quite ok, but we lived in an indescribable state of mind because we had to watch all the transports marching right into the gas chambers. Fire in the crematoria burned day and night. When the crematoria could not cope with the number of bodies to be burnt they carried out the corpses into a great pit, poured lime on them, put twigs and sticks on them and lit them. Once, when I was passing the crematorium I saw in dismay a huge truck full of corpses, and we could hear screams and cries for help. Our state of mind in these times could not be described. We often saw them opening the doors of cattle cars and corpses were literally falling out of the cars. A great many left the cars mad. It belongs also to one of the unforgettable memories of my life when I saw ca. 30 elderly men and women on the huge truck of which the canvas was turned up by the wind as they were heading towards the gas chamber. In the court of the crematorium I saw elderly people sitting and eating at tables, waiting for their destiny to unfold. It was also horrible for me to see a young mother among the selected people as she was breastfeeding her baby kept in her arms, walking towards the crematorium. I often saw the SS beating up men till blood poured from them. They fell on the ground but had to stand up at once. They were doing exercises in muddy puddles and got 25 blows for any trifle. When transports stopped coming we were moved from Brezinka to the weaving mill. Discipline was quite strict; SS soldiers used to come with great hounds to control whether the assigned work was done. If it was not done they mercilessly beat up people. Reveille was at 3 am, that is, when the sky was still full of stars, and was soon followed by roll call, which lasted for hours. At 6 am we had to leave for work. We were unable to get water. There was a streamlet, and during working hours we used it for washing and driven by thirst also for drinking. We walked in mud up to our ankles, and our heavy wooden shoes were frequently so stuck that we could hardly pull out our feet from the mud. At noon, when lunch was distributed they herded us out of the workplace as if we were beasts, and we had to eat standing, consuming the 2.5 decilitres of soup from a dirty and dusty pot. At 5 pm we finished working, then came roll call again, and then we ran into the bathroom to drink a sip of water but were chased back by clubs again. Every week there were disinfections, when we had to be lined up for roll call in front of the bathroom. We got a bite of bread and entered the baths, where the SS was already waiting for us with clubs. We had to rapidly take off our clothes and form a bunch of it. We had a bath in hot water and were herded to an ice-cold concrete room without windows, where we stood naked for hours, we stood there during the whole night on the icy concrete floor, till 3 am, when our clothes were returned to us. We nestled up to each other to keep ourselves warm. If the number they counted during roll call was not right, as a punishment all the people of the camp had to stay on their knees for hours, on ice and mud. I know of a so-called "Vistula kommando," where my comrades could endure only two weeks of work. If this kommando had existed for a longer time all of them would have died. All day long they had to pickaxe in mud and water. Every day they had to climb a high hill, which was rather difficult in those huge wooden shoes that got stuck in the mud. Most of them fell back and as a result they got a beating with the rubber club. One Friday, after a night of heavy raining, they had to work in a terrible windstorm. They thought to die there, and even the SS felt sorry for them, and soon they dismissed the kommando. This time, I also got into the so-called "transport block." It was fairly cold outside; there was no heating in the block, and we were not allowed to use covers and the SS would control it. The wind blew in through the openings of the wall. The entire place was full of rats and if we left a bite of bread in the evening, by the morning rats would eat it out of our garments together with the textile. Two weeks later, we left with a transport (this was the first transport) for Bergen-Belsen, for the so-called death camp. Conditions were awful also in these camps. For months we got nothing but 2 decilitres of soup, which was more like water, with a few slices of turnips swimming in it. Besides, we got a small slice of bread, but not every day. In the last weeks we received no bread, and starvation made us suffer in the extreme. Wherever you looked you saw dirt and squalor, while we were swarming with lice. There was no opportunity to wash; and hundreds of people died of spotted fever a day. No one saw to burying all those dead bodies that lay there in our midst; we trod on them. There was no toilet and everyone was forced to use the block as a toilet. Just before the English liberated us we heard that they were going to give us bread. Luckily, they had no time to distribute it because, as we heard, it was poisoned. The 15th of April of this year, our liberators, the English troops arrived. SS soldier had all escaped and handed over the camp to Hungarian soldiers. The first thing the English did was disinfect us, giving us the most nutritious food, clean tops and underwear. The English found more than 30,000 agonising people in this camp when they liberated us. Everyone was skeleton thin; and we literally went on all fours because of powerlessness. Unfortunately, most of us got diarrhoea and typhus because of the sudden change in nutrition, and very many people died also after liberation. When I got a bit stronger, I started home on my own. I crossed the Czech Republic and arrived in Budapest. Since I have found my husband – thank God! - ###
váltás magyarra