Helen Lebowitz Goldkind
Born: 1928, Volosianka, Czechoslovakia
Describes treatment of new prisoners at Auschwitz [Interview: 1990]
Then you see these mothers coming down with little kids, and they're...and they're trying to pull these kids out of their mother's hands. And you know, when you try to separate a family, it's very difficult. It's very difficult. People put up fights. It...it, there was so much screams. So, there was a truck. I remember that truck. So the parents, the...the mothers that wouldn't give up these children and they, they were beaten up, and the kids got hurt, so they grabbed these kids and they threw them on the truck, and they really didn't look how they were throwing them on the truck. So at that time we saw that something horrible is happening--the way these people were behaving to little children, to little babies. And of course on that truck there were people, you know, very sick people going, you know, they were throwing sick people there and...and...and these children that gave them a tough time. They were just thrown on the trucks. And there were so many mothers that were running after the trucks, and of course they beat them and they pushed them back.
Volosianka was annexed by Hungary in 1939 and occupied by the Germans in 1944. Helen was about 13 when she and her family were deported to the Uzhgorod ghetto. They were then deported to various camps. Helen and her older sister survived Auschwitz, forced labor at a camp munitions factory, and Bergen-Belsen. When Helen was too weak to move, her sister would support her during roll call and drag her to work, knowing that labor was the only chance for survival.
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