Rose was born in Srala, Czechoslovakia, and had parents and four siblings prior to the war. She survived along with a brother, their father, an aunt and cousins.
The ghetto fell into our street; all of our family was in our house, thirty-eight people. We had one bedroom and one kitchen. Next door lived the mayor’s father, then they took us to an even smaller house for three weeks, 1944, then they took us away, In May, 1944 they took us away to Auschwitz. They took all of the Jews from our city; there were about 100 of us in one cattle car.
As it happens, the book the Auschwitz Album has photographs that document our transport’s arrival at Auschwitz. I am in one of the photographs in the book.
I remember when I was coming down from the train; my 3 year old brother picked up my chin and said “Give Yankel a little water.” He was my baby. My father was taken to a labor camp, my mom went to work. I was the oldest, so I was mommy. I thought that they took the young girls away for the German soldiers and the moms and the kids went to some kind of a labor camp. I said goodbye to my mom and kissed her and my little brother goodbye. I saw my 11 year old sister and my 14 year old brother further away, saying how about me, you didn’t say goodbye to me. How do think I felt? Can you imagine?
After the Selection, I was taken by train, to a labor camp, Farleslaben which used to be a Volkswagen plant. I was given a little white rag with the number 3777 on my uniform when we got to Farleslaben. They called us by our number, not our name. The next day they put us to work. This was near a mine. One day rocks fell on my head, they took me underground to get patched up and let me go. I worked doing painting, the paint was very dangerous. In the morning, they would give us a slice of bread and a coffee, dinner at 11:30 at night when we got back from work, some soup. We would get people meat, cow meat, horse meat, who knows, it was better than Auschwitz. I worked there until April 7, 1945.
There was a German captain who was in charge of our barracks; she had a 12 year old daughter herself. I was 16 at the time. She was very nice to us. She would give us a shower late at night, give us apples. One time when I came home from work, I saw that everybody was upset. The SS came for her. They took off her clothes, put striped clothes on her, and took her away. I remember she used to whisper to us when we would hear bombing, “Your brothers are coming.” Her father was a general in the regular army. The Americans were getting close so they took us to a nearby camp, Zalcwedel. The Americans came there and we were liberated. Three months later we were taken to Prague and then back to our homes to see if anyone had survived.