Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER
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A Mother’s Shoah, Auschwitz-Birkenau

Auschwitz-Birkenau

At last we started to move. Alas, not only the men were separated from us, but the women also were divided into two groups, singles and mothers.The children were taken away from their mothers next …. If they saw women huddling together they’d also separate them from each other. We learned in the meantime that we were in a huge concentration camp which covered sixty square kilometers. Its name was Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Poles also told us that we would be given a shower next and get to see our kin afterward. I was hoping, in the back of my mind, that I’d be able to find my parents. They’d been deported and brought here three weeks ago, as I just heard.

Entrance_to_Birkenau

Entrance to Birkenau. By D. Olere.

After a long stretch of walk we reached the baths. While we were removing our clothes, which had to be left back in the large chamber we were led into first, a contingent of Polish male inmates circulated amongst us naked women so matter of factly as if it had been their God given right. My despair reached the point where the whole sky falling on us would have been no surprise anymore. Just how much more could we be demeaned, after all?