Pabianice and Lodz – 2 years in ghetto in with Aunt.
In selection, in town square. They took grandmother aside and made a red letter B on grandmother, Chava Moskowicz, and other old people. Selection for those with letter B and children under 8 were taken away. Designated to death.
Took others by streetcar to Lodz Ghetto
Lodz ghetto: May 14, 1942 for 2 years until sometime in July.
Baby was taken away from mother. Mother turned white haired overnight from anguish of having her baby taken away. Father showed up following day. Germans assigned them places to live on May 15. It was summer. May 16 already was sent to a straw factory. Braiding straw. Bench with nails and you braid the straw. 12 girls in one room. When the straw done, boys took braids to sew boots. Work ½ a day. Too young to work whole day, 13 yrs old. The other ½ day, sitting around, talking about bread, oil, sugar, reading. Bed bugs in summer. Father was sent to a place building things for Germans. Mother was sent to laundry room to wash and iron clothes for the soldiers. Wooden shoes were given.
One day on the way to work, passing the hospital; saw Germans throwing live babies from the second floor onto large open truck on the street. Kept walking.
In Lodz Getto for a week received a bread, brown sugar, potatoes, yellow vegetable, radish. Received 5 portions for the entire family. Everyone was starving.
First three days had a little food, remainder of the week hardly anything left.
People were falling like flies. Special group with a wagon that would pick up the bodies to the cemetery on a wagon. They received more food. Lying in the streets and smell.
One Room Attic for the family in an old neighborhood. No water indoors. Out house and well water. Mother, father, brother and cousin Hela (father’s oldest sister’s daughter) and Zelda.
Brother worked in metal store making canisters for water.
Being part of Jewish Organization kept them alive. There were libraries, read a lot mostly classics, talked.
One day, cleaining Lodz and sending to better camps with work, nicer rooms and clothes, better facilities. Try to hide, starved, stop giving them food.
End of July 1944. After two weeks, father told the family that they need to pack up clothes. Five of them went on trains and took them to Auschwitz from Marysin train station where they had the trains. Walked two miles to the train station. Told them that we no longer will feed you in Lodz, get your things together and go to train station. Takes a whole night (12 hours) to get to Auschwitz. 100 people at least, some standing and some sitting. Passing woods, parks. Around 5-6 in the morning, father told me if you marry know family of the man.
Arrived in Auschwitz, see guards, dogs, whips, leave everything on train except bread. Selection. Names on everything and told that it will be delivered to you.
Seperated men and women.
With Hela and Mom. Hela and me to right and mom to left. Assessment breaks there hand holding and never saw mother again. Hela and Zelda were told to undress and went to shower. Gave them rags as dresses that did not fit and told them to dress and some type of shoes.
Then sent to Bergen-Belson. In a way worse than Auschwitz. In Auschwitz there were bunk beds. In BB laying in camping tents on grass or sand. Bread and cheese filled with sand. Four weeks and then sent to another camp. Name can’t remember. Making ammunitions.
After Bergen-Belson ran into childhood girlfriend, Mia, who introduced Zelda to her future husband Joseph Klaiman (principal from Jewish School was his uncle). This was someone that she knew the family as her father had told her!
In Auschwitz for four weeks, another selection. Naked hundreds of women, go right, go left. Some left in Auschwitz, some death, some other camps.
Zelda and Hela were sent to a labor camp 1944.
Ammunication factory in the woods. Made with ether (sp?), the smell would make her faint. Youngest in the labor camp.
Then moved to another labor camp, Salt Mines. Digging for salt and trains take it away. It was so hot. Wore the striped clothes and striped underwear. Many took off dressed due to the heat. Worked there for a few months.
Sent back to Bergen-Belson beginning of 1945. Now in soldier barracks (as big as football field). Many had typhus or diarrhea. Outhouse.
Hela found a cousin who had a connection and took Zelda to a hospital. Couldn’t walk any longer. Had typhus, burning up with fever. Dreamt that father was on bed feeding her raspberries and another type of grape fruit and told her to eat.
Liberated on April 15, 1945. in Bergen-Belson.
Saw mountains of dead people out the window. Four weeks in hospital.
Met husband and would not let go of him.
Hela got sick before liberation and ended up going to Swedish hospital. Had lung removed. Moved to Israel and met husband, but could not have any children. Adopted a 7 year old Sephardic boy.