It is estimated that only about 200,000 of the millions of people who entered Auschwitz survived. Each Holocaust survivor has a unique experience of life in the camp. Here we’ve collated some memories of Auschwitz from those who survived the Holocaust:
Laszlo Bernath, Auschwitz survivor: "In the area next to us there was a barrack and a football field next to it, where the Germans played football on Sundays. I stood by the electric fence to watch the match, meanwhile behind that football field there were crematoriums which often let out smoke and the air was vibrating on top of the chimneys."
Erzsebet Brodt, Auschwitz survivor: "We had to go down to work to a swamp. The fat of the people who were burned was let into that swamp. There is still a small area of that left which is slippery, that's where the burnt fat was let out to."
Eva Fahidi, Auschwitz survivor: "Somebody who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau is having two lives; one life prior to Auschwitz-Birkenau and one life after. And what is in between, that is something you never get rid of."
Bronia Cyngiser, Auschwitz survivor: “They came with dogs and we were pushed into cattle cars. We’d no idea where we were going. There was all this commotion — people were screaming, children were crying and they were hitting people and pushing them inside the cars until they were full to capacity.
“I must have fallen asleep because when we arrived in front of Auschwitz it was dawn. The air was so heavy and here was a certain smell but we didn’t know what it was,” she said.
The men and women were separated. Her parents would never see each other again.
“They said to undress and you are going to have a shower and to leave whatever you had behind. My mother must have already known about the ovens because she gathered up my sister and me like she was saying goodbye.”
Judith Jagermann, Auschwitz survivor: “After the tattooing, we were driven into barracks withoutmattresses. From now on the women had to live squeezed together,on three levels of bunk beds. It was terrible and cold, and wedidn’t know what the next minute would have in store for us. Theonly thing one could do, was to swallow hard and to suffer insilence.
“The food was some kind of feed, called soup, a dark, watery liquid, for which one had again to stand in line in order to get some of it into a small tin bowl – not even full.Within a couple of weeks we all became thin, numb and listless,just as those who had been before us in Auschwitz. Our camp was called Birkenau. B 2 B. Block 12.”
"Memories of Auschwitz". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.