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About 60 people were clubbed with sticks and hit with rifle butts. The whole operation was carried out at night with far-reaching precautionary measures so that other Jews in the Theresienstadt camp would not sense anything. To mislead the rest of the Jews in Theresienstadt, and the International Red Cross, four days prior to gassing the unfortunate inmates were asked to write letters to their loved ones in the Czech Republic.
They were all asked to date the letters 25 March The letters were stored by the Political Department, and sent after March The Gestapo in this way wanted to prove that no one in Auschwitz is gassed, and at the same time tried to lure new victims from Theresienstadt. These letters will reach the recipients when all their authors will have been long dead. The enormity of the Nazi bestiality can only be compared to the extreme cowardice with which these brutes try to cover up the traces of their crimes Thank you very much for the bread, pastries and sweets. I keep thinking of you.
I hope that both you and your family are well. Greetings to Uncle Zitek, Zdenek and Franta. But we always enjoyed the sound of camp sirens as we knew that somebody had managed to escape. Auschwitz was as flat as a table, with wires, wires, wires and stones all around, and only one tree. And it was so beautiful when somebody managed to escape in spite of it all. Lederer, referred here by the RSHA on A search action was immediately ordered and until now did not bring about any success.
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I ask you therefore, to commence further search actions and, upon apprehension of the escapee to send relevant information. Another report will follow. The guilty police constables have not been confirmed to date. It turned out that it was not a rumour, that what seemed unbelievable was in fact true.
A recruit in the Waffen S.S.
We were aware of the fact that our final date would come at last and that the fate awaiting us would be the same as the fate of the September transport. But June 20 came—and nothing happened.
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In the next days, Dr Mengele was organizing selections … during which he chose strong women. Terrifying tragedies were happening: there were women who wanted to live so much that they would accept being separated from their children, and there were those who would choose to die together with their children. Scenes which we witnessed were impossible to describe.
Then it was time for selection. On the orders of an SS man, the first row had to step out a little and lower their pants. Those who had even the smallest scar on the body had to stand on one side. It was an unpleasant feeling as we did not know what was going to happen next. It was true that we were told that we would be transported to the Blechhammer labour camp, but we did not trust it too much after our Heydebreck experience. But we were directed to a large bath and put on typical concentration camp clothes with white and blue stripes as well as underwear, caps and coats.
Instead of shoes, we were given wooden clogs. For the first time in months we took a shower and felt relatively clean. A convoy of trucks with uncovered platforms was standing on the road behind the wires, waiting for us. We had to sit on our heels, one behind the other. We, the children, remained in the group with men and the elderly. I was together with my father.
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So for example we were not maltreated or abused when the soup was served. We were not subject to the harassment of prisoner functionaries too much either. My group, which stayed in the block, consisted at the time of 40 young people. I recall that at the time when we were still in the barracks together with the elderly, I would often see corpses lying outside the block. If a warder did not notice it, in the evenings some prisoners used to take valuable things from the corpses.
I do not exactly remember how many prisoners were accommodated in the block, it was always full.
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On average it might have been about people. We, the young, occupied one bed—7 persons per bunk. I remember that when it was cold, those of us who slept on the corner would change every two hours with those sleeping in the middle. We had one, maximum two blankets at our disposal. I remember that we would use some tricks in order to obtain food rations also for those prisoners who were in the state of agony or those who had already died. I am not able to estimate how many people were incarcerated in Auschwitz during my stay there.
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I know quite a lot of details concerning Czech transports, as they were of particular interest for me. I know for example that when I was in Auschwitz, , Jews from Hungary were murdered in the gas chambers. As I later worked in the Rollwagen Kommando, I could watch the selections being performed myself. Earlier, at the time when I had been directed here, they transported the people from the ramp to Birkenau, then the tracks led directly to the crematoria. We could see the trains passing. Blocksperre was announced and we managed to hide ourselves. We saw people leaving the train.
The entire situation seemed weird. We see people wearing civilian clothes, but we still have striped uniforms on. Their language was really strange. They were well dressed, but a lot of them looked pale and exhausted. The elderly particularly suffered from the inconveniences of a long journey.
We were hidden in the corner and were observing everything, which was of course forbidden. Not many of them were directed to the camp. I wanted very much to see what the selection process looked like. The behaviour of Auschwitz deportees differed. But there were transports which did not look like lambs led to the slaughter.
I also worked on the ramp when the transports were coming. I was aware of the fact that if a child stayed with the mother, they would go to gas. I was putting mouldy pieces of dough into the pot. I once found in the dough a few glass sleeves in which some money was hidden—German marks.
In this way, people from the outside would attempt to smuggle some money for their relatives. This money allowed us to get some food. Near the stove at which I worked there was a separate room which Fredy Hirsch used as his office. I often had to be careful when SS man Pestek was going inside to talk with Fredy face to face. He was more humane than other SS men.
All stokers had to be careful not to make any SS man come closer and raise the alarm. We were preparing the bread for the others, also for elderly prisoners, so I was able to send something to my parents on a regular basis. I sometimes used to bring them some soup, and they would argue with me then.
When I was bringing my father some sugar cubes there was also always a problem who should eat them.