[Regina Resnick was 17 when the Holocaust started]
We had a very nice life, we had families and friends, we went to movies. We did all the things kids do here, that families do here. My father was manufacturing of all kinds of leather goods
We had stacks and stacks of hides all kinds of hides, you know leather and machinery
Before we went to concentration camp, we were three girls and I have a brother, I had two brothers, but as soon as we got to Auschwitz, my younger brother and my mother, they took her, they them right away to the gas chambers. So we were five siblings
We started in Auschwitz and then from there we went to [a nearby labor camp].
Where we – that was the only place we did some work. We manufactured powder -- black powder in very high temperatures, and I think that was the IG Farben industries, and they manufactured ammunitions. That was the only place we worked.
That was the second camp
Then we went to Robinsberg, and when I think of Robinsberg, I – to my mind comes mounds of dead bodies, they were all over, mounds of dead bodies.
I was with my two sisters. We were three girls so were all together. And actually, that helped me to live, because if you were alone it was very easy to just to go to the electrified fence, touch it and life was over. But because I was with my two sisters, well you know, we wouldn’t do it, to make another sibling feel bad, so one had the other that’s how we survived.
Yeah, there were many times [she thought about suicide], but as I said you didn’t do it because you didn’t want to make your sibling unhappy. If you were alone, it was very easy to give up. If you had a sibling with you that helped you to – you know – to survive.
First of all, you hoped this is going to end soon and we’ll go home, and we’ll go back to our homes and be with our families together. So you know, you’re young, you want to live.”
They used to bring a bucket of soup. It wasn’t very substantial. It was very light, very soupy, and a piece of bread. It was once a day they brought that. So the bread you had to put away for the next morning -- a little piece, for the morning, a little piece for during the day, because you didn’t get any more food until the following evening. So that’s why, we very emaciated. We lost a lot of weight.
I didn’t meet anybody that had any compassion. We weren’t human to them.
Every morning and every evening when they (The Nazis) came around to count -- as we were in concentrate camp for a while, the food wasn’t good, and everything else was … we were really starving – a lot of people we lost weight, when they used to come to count us, used to pinch our cheeks to look healthy, to have color, we were afraid they ran around they counted, and if someone looked sickly to them or whatever, they always took them out from the line and we never saw them again. You were always afraid something was going to happen, that they were going to take you out.”
Every morning we had to get out and we were lined up five people in a row and we had to wait for hours for the Germans to come to count us, not that there was any way of escaping, because there was no way out from there. But every morning and every night we had stand for hours five people in a row and they came and counted us, and then went back into loggers – we called “loggers.” Those loggers – six people that slept on a board and there were three tiers and six people on each tier. The whole day was like that, we were sitting there or lying there, until again we had to go out to what they called “Salapel,” they counted each group of people.”
They put us in cattle cars -- it was in January – to come back to Germany, when the Russian troops came. So they – we were in open cattle cars and it was snowing and we were packed like Sardines. And we ate the snow from each other’s shoulders. That’s how we had – you know – something to drink to keep us our mouths hydrated. As we came to Czechoslovakia people threw up bread and certain things for us eat because it was a few days that we were in the cattle cars and we didn’t get any food. And as we were coming back to Germany a lot of people died in these cars. So they just stopped the trains every once in a while they took out the dead people – threw them out – so by the time we reached where went to, Robinsberg – that was another camp we went to – there was a lot room in the train already because a lot of people died on the way. It took us about three or four days and a lot of people died on the way, a lot of people emaciated and very sick, and so they just threw them out.
We knew what was happening. We saw the smoke going up right there – right near where we were in the concentration camp, they had the gas chambers right near there, and so we knew not to expect our parents – especially my mother. I had a younger brother they took right away. My father was in concentration camp with my brother for a few months but then they took him away, my brother never saw him after that.
And then from there, "Neichclaber" and that’s where we were liberated, that’s when the war ended on May 8.
When we came home there was nothing. So somebody lived in our house
They said “well if you want the house, you can have it, of course,” But we didn’t even stay in that house at all.”
[Now she still sometimes sees the visions from that time]
Once in a while when I go to a movie that deals with this thing I’m always sorry I did go, it brings back, it heightens all the memories we have from the concentration camp.