Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER
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A Mother’s Shoah, A Shred of Paper

A shred of paper

The days went by very slowly. Male inmates were sometimes brought over from other parts of the camp for maintenance work, but we were not able to talk to them at all. Once they left a shred of paper in my hand. My sweet little brother was looking for me and my father was also trying to find me. They were searching for my mother too, unfortunately in vain. It’s better not to describe what it took me to get a reply back to him …

SS_women_troops-Belsen_1945

Female SS troopers in custody from the Belsen camp, 1945.

This is how five weeks went by, in rags, rained out and hungry, when they had us line up one day. This meant that we’d be taken away for work. Messages from the men always said the same thing – just get away from here to work, it can only be better. We were given clean prisoner garb and sent to the rail cars, fifty to a car. Being transported away prevented me from getting my brother’s reply; I haven’t heard about my mother since; neither could I learn about the fate of my cousins and girlfriends from Györ, with whom I’d been together in the same lager. We shouldn’t forget though, that there were 15 – 18,000 women in the ten barracks which made up the compound. Finding the proverbial needle in a haystack would probably have been easier than learning the whereabouts of somebody you knew there.