The trains in this photo album are the same kind of transport that I, along with some members of my family, rode and arrived into Auschwitz-Birkenau on. We were taken from Munkach, or Munkachevo in the Karpatian area of Hungary in the same timeframe as shown, early May of 1944 , "We" includes me, my younger brother, Tuli and my older sister, Goldie, as well as many more members of our extended family. The only difference is that we arrived into Auschwitz at night.
As they opened the door to the cattle cars, all pandemonium broke loose. They started clubbing us and yelling for us to leave all our belongings where they were. "Raus. Raus. Shnell." "Women and children to the right. Men to the left." I was holding on to my brother and sister’s hands when we were torn apart, never to see each other again. As we proceeded in line towards "selection", we saw these numerous tall chimneys with flames shooting out of them and ashes flying all over like an eruption of a volcano. There was this sickening smell and some of the men in line believed that those were smelting factories and that this is probably where we will be working. I was 15 years of age and was not a child anymore, nor was I a man either. As we progressed in line, I saw this man dressed in a white coat, like a doctor, directing people to the right or to the left with the motion of his finger. I did not know it at the time, but this was the infamous Dr. Mengele, the so called "Angel of Death." He decided who shall live or who shall die with a flick of his finger.
Every so often he would ask someone’s age. So, when I approached I streched myself out, saluted him and said in German "I am 18 years old, healthy and I am able to work." This was one lie that may have saved my life.
"The Auschwitz Album" is taken from the Yad Vashem website and may also be viewed here