Memories of Auschwitz from those who survived

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Memories of Auschwitz from those who survived

Survivors describe their memories of Auschwitz in the following selection of English-language clips from the Visual History Archive. A total of 11,780 testimonies in the Visual History Archive mention Auschwitz; these testimonies were conducted in 26 languages and 45 countries.

Agnes Kun on working in Auschwitz

Language: English

Agnes Kun worked in the hospital at Auschwitz II-Birkenau as an assistant nurse. She recalls Josef Mengele, particularly his presence at the hospital.

  • Agnes Kun on working in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Agnes Kun worked in the hospital at Auschwitz II-Birkenau as an assistant nurse. She recalls Josef Mengele, particularly his presence at the hospital.

  • Anna Heilman on resistance in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Anna Heilman remembers helping her sister, Ester Wajcblum, smuggle gunpowder to aid in the Sonderkommando uprising at Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Ester Wajcblum was hanged publicly in the camp on January 1, 1945.

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  • Dennis Urstein on working in Auschwitz II-Birkenau

    Language: English

    Dennis Urstein was a Kanada Kommando in Auschwitz who collected inmates' belongings they were forced to leave behind. He reflects on witnessing the arrivals of new inmates to Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

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  • Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt on life in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt remembers painting a mural based on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" on a wall in one of the children's barracks at Auschwitz II-Birkenau, Poland.

  • Ellis Lewin on arriving at Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Ellis Lewin describes the horror of arriving at Auschwitz; he remembers stepping out of the cattle car and witnessing barking dogs, chaos, separation of women from men, and beatings by Nazis.

  • Erna Anolik on arriving at Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Erna Anolik recalls the intake procedures at Auschwitz, including shaving off her hair, undressing in front of soldiers, and only being given a grey dress and wooden shoes.

  • Eugene Zinn on working at Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Eugene Zinn recounts how he was forced to dig up mass graves because of the stench and his attempt to burn the bodies with wood and kerosene.

  • Hellmuth Szprycer on arriving to Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Hellmuth Szprycer recalls the arrival to Auschwitz II-Birkenau from Theresienstadt. He reflects on the chaos at the camp once he stepped out of the cattle car.

  • Herschel Balter on music in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Herschel Balter reflects on how important music was to him while imprisoned in Auschwitz II-Birkenau.  He sings the same lullaby he used to sing while in the camp.

  • Itka Zygmuntowicz on music in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Itka Zygmuntowicz reflects on the camp orchestra within Auschwitz that was forced to play music while inmates were sent to the crematoria.

  • Kitty Hart-Moxon on Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Kitty Hart-Moxon recalls being able to see Crematorium 4 from her barrack window at Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

  • Linda Breder on abuse in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Linda Breder was a Kanada Kommando in Auschwitz who collected inmates' belongings they were forced to leave behind. Linda remembers how a Nazi soldier disciplined inmates complaining of thirst. Years later Breder testified at that soldier’s war crime trial.   

  • Renée Firestone on arriving at Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Renée Firestone remembers arriving at Auschwitz II-Birkenau with her sister, whom she tried desperately to hang onto so they would not be separated.

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  • Ruth Brand on arriving at Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Ruth Brand recalls the horrible intake procedures at Auschwitz including shaving her head, undressing in front of soldiers and only being given one dress.