Auschwitz survivors share their stories on 75th anniversary


I was tagged with a number
that was tattooed on the inside of my left forearm
and I received other numbers … The number from Auschwitz, I’ve had it
for 77 years and it is still legible. It is legible and it is a living witness
to unforgettable, tragic events. I remember, in Auschwitz-Birkenau,
I remember naked women driven in trucks from the barracks
to a gas chamber. I can hear them screaming. I can hear it in my subconscious
when I remember those events. The worst thing that I went through
at the very beginning, what was the most hurtful for me
was the loss of hair because the hair gave me a sense of belonging
to womanhood and they were smooth. This hair was my own. And this criminal hand touched my hair,
this crown of mine was taken away from me and I was turned into this pitiful,
sad creature. My hand touched a naked skull
and I could see the contour of my face. I couldn’t recognise myself. Is it really me?
Where is my crown? People who learned that I had been
an inmate of Auschwitz would ask me, how do you think it must have been
only in Germany? Or do you think it could happen
somewhere else. And then I told them, it can also
happen in your country, in this land when the civil rights
are broken, when people do not obey the laws
of minorities. When you do away with the rights
of minorities. Auschwitz did not fall suddenly from the skies. It was pittering, pattering in all those tiny
steps. It was approaching until what happened
here behind me did happen.

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