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Marian Turski: Deportation


I was in the ghetto in my organization, because I knew better languages than other boys and girls, so I was I had little to do with the clandestine bulletin, kind of a newsletter, mmm and I got a report given, delivered by BBC, um, about Auschwitz. It was in the last weeks of my stay in the ghetto and it was told which I remember I listened to it and then I wrote it down. When you, when anybody comes to Auschwitz he will see barbed wire and chimneys and fire getting out from the chimneys and then there would be a selection, ah people would be selected and then they would be how you say ranked in rows, five people in one row and they will be ahh ordered to go to march and then you will see on both sides some bushes and barbed wire and then you will see a sign ... which means to the bath, to the bath, but don't be deceived don't be cheated it is not a sauna it is not a bath it is a gas chamber.

I knew how it would be and when I arrived it was confirmed step by step, the barbed wire, it was ah it was 3 o'clock in the morning, mmm sunrise, before sunrise, mmm the fire from the chimneys, then the selection and then the majority if I remember so it was the train, the majority to the right, the minority to the left I was among the minority, but because I noticed that I am surrounded by young and healthy looking people I understood that this is good for me. And then we were in those rows and we started marching, and this is as I knew some bushes on both sides and the barbed wire and suddenly I noticed the sign ... to the bath and we are marching and then we reached the sauna and we were ordered to undress and we gave, we handed over our clothes and we went to the ah to be, our hair to be cut. Listen I will tell you something, some episodes are so deep that you can't forget them. I remember the haircutters, they were Dutch Jews who, I listen I heard it for the first time in my life. I am quite musical, so I got a, my daughter knows that I got a good musical memory. And they were singing a song  ... la da da da da ... I remembered it I remember the tune so far that when I went when I came after 50 years to the Netherlands and I asked them is there a Dutch song which started ... yes it was a beloved Jewish song ... Ah, and then coming back to this day and they had some blunt razors, they were shaving us and we were bleeding because those were very blunt razors
Dull, they were dull razors
Dull, dull razors excuse me, and then they put some, how do you call it?
right, disinfectant
Which was so strong and so burning that everybody, that everybody was screaming was crying, everybody but me, because then I understood that this is for life. Believe it, yes.

Marian Turski was born in 1926 in Lodz; his birth name was Moshe Turbowicz. The Germans invaded Poland in 1939, and in 1940, Moshe, his parents Eliasz and Helena Rachel, and his younger brother Wolf, were forced into the Lodz ghetto. Moshe attended the ghetto high school and joined a Communist youth group. In August 1944, the Turbowicz family was deported to the Auschwitz killing center, where Moshe’s father and most likely his brother were murdered upon arrival. He was later transferred to the Buchenwald concentration camp, and was liberated at Theresienstadt after surviving a death march from Buchenwald. Moshe returned to Lodz, where he was reunited with his mother. Later he married Halina, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto. Since the end of World War II, Marian Turski has had a distinguished career in Poland as a journalist and Jewish activist.

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