Concentration Camp Child Survivor

I didn’t really have a feeling of hardship, apart from being hungry all the time. My grandmother was working in the kitchen. Every so often she stole a carrot for me. My mother had a manicure set. She was doing manicuring to other people in the camp. They gave a little bit of their stew. A little bit extra for her, for doing the nails of these people. These are silly things that I remember. Not the- Not the serious things. We were allowed to to learn to read & write & to play with clay. So it wasn’t as bad as some other factories. & places. Apart from the starvation. We slept in straw. You could see these bedbugs. Big, big things, moving about. In the straw. Our hair was full of fleas. I remember things like that & a lot of itch. But basically this was still a better place than some of the people went through in these horrendous other camps. Yes, we children, we certainly had a better time than some other children where they were just taken and killed.

We were supposed to go to Auschwitz but we didn’t, & that saved our life. Because most of the people, all the Jews in Szeged they were all exterminated except the people on our train. That’s as much as I know. The train was very traumatic. The soldiers were very rough, pushing more & more people into this carriage. Just awful. It must have been quite long, because we were very thirsty & had nothing to drink. This terrible smell, because people had to go to the toilet.

I remember the Russians coming into Theresienstadt. I remember that very clearly, because we were standing in the street. And by that time I think the Germans must have fled. And they were coming in trucks. And they were throwing off the trucks pieces of chocolate and pieces of bread. And all the things we haven’t seen - in years. And we were absolutely over the moon, grabbing what we could. And they said that we were free to do what we wanted and that was unbelievable.

And then we had to leave this camp because I think the Russians were advancing. So their- the- the Austrians or Germans, I don’t know who were looking after the camp, were moving us all the time to- towards Theresienstadt. And I remember walking quite a lot. And it was winter and cold. And I remember walking through woods and there were planes coming and dropping bombs. And I remember that we had to lie down. And my mother put her head over my head. And she said, “If we have to die, then we have to die together.” That’s another little thing that I remember.