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The First Day Auschwitz Concentration Camp


 TheThe train platform in Burkenau


The train we traveled with for 8 days suddenly stopped and outside we heard people's voices. We understood that we had arrived at a certain station. The door of the train car, which was locked from the outside - was opened. Sunlight penetrated into the car. The SS soldiers, accompanied by threatening dogs, screaming in German, ordered us to get off the wagon. "Ales austreiten".


I saw how they hit one man with a whip. He was confused and frightened, almost fell when he got out of the trailer. Getting off the trailer was difficult. They deliberately didn't put stairs near the door of the train car. We would have to jump from the horn to the platform. Among those who came, there were both old people and families with small children. There were those who tried to help those who had difficulty getting off. But the SS soldiers did not let. They urged them with blows of a whip to leave immediately and join the a advancing group.


My family was quite close-knit. We got off the trailer together. When we jump from the car and our feet touch the platform. within seconds the SS soldiers made a first selection. In this selection, men and women were separated. At this point, I was suddenly separated from mother and my sister. From that moment on, I never saw them again.


We barely had time to take a few steps, and before we were able to understand what is happening here, we, the group of men, advance a short distance and again the SS soldiers, make another selection. This time they choose "who lives, and who dies". But those who were chosen for a gentle life, were chosen because the Nazi regime could still benefit from enslaving us in hard labor. At that time we did not know about the SS men's intentions. We could not have guessed that people were being killed just because of being Jewish.


In the end, I found myself, in a group of about 60 men, who for the time being won life. Our group was taken n  way to the showers. Some did not even appear to have suffered from hunger in the ghetto. Some of them were fat, dressed in luxury clothes. Here the Capos took command of us. A team of veteran capos. At this point, the capo men replaced the SS men. They marched us into the camp and put us in an empty hut. We were still dressed in the clothes from the trip, from home, from the ghetto.


We were ordered to undress because we were entering the shower which was in the next room. When we went to undress, we were warned to enter the shower completely naked and not to take, and not to smuggle, valuables. We had to leave everything we came with in this room. We had to get into the shower - completely naked.

In revenge for being a collaborator with the Gestapo, I saw how the capo beat him. Murderous blows. When he passed out, a stream of cold water, coming from a large fire hose, woke him up. So, he was hit again and again the water woke him up. This was repeated, several times.


Before the shower I happened to stand next to one man, naked. It became clear to me immediately that he was one of the brothers of the informant from the ghetto. We saw how his brother was beaten. I saw how the man's hair on his face, grows and whitens, out of grief. A few days later, I learned that the man died from the beatings he received. After the cold shower we left it naked to a square near the shower shack.


In the square there were several squads of Capos, each squad having a special role to receive the new arrivals. When I got to the first ward, the staff shaved off all the hair on my body. Literally from all the places where hair grows. The razors they used went over the bodies of many of the previous victims. The razors caused us bleeding wounds. As soon as this stage was over, I moved on to the next squad.u


These squad, was disinfecting the new commers. The capos stood with a bucket full of lysol and a rag making the desinfection. One of the capos took out a rag soaked in lysol from the bucket and applied it to all the shaved areas on my body. They almost smeared my whole body with lysol. This chemical caused torture and burned badly. A little bit of Lysol also crept from the head into the eyes. The shooting pain was when the Lysol was applied to the shaved area of the groin. It was not sympathetic at all.


After the painful disinfection, we finally entered the shack where clothes were lying on the floor. According to the capo's instructions, we were allowed to choose only one outfit. Most of the clothes were summer clothes, of the victims who arrived a few days before us.


The weather was starting to get wintry; I was worried. After the intake process, we were led to a shack arranged inside, a very long heater. These ovens did never used, because the Germans didn’t care to heat the winter cold nights.


Next to the stove, there was a pile of blankets from which everyone was allowed to take, one blanket only.

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