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Artist's Drawing

6. Auschwitz-Birkenau

The train came to a halt. The locomotive was unhooked, the gatesclosed. A battalion of SS troops with submachine guns surrounded thetrain. All the car doors opened simultaneously, an order was given, "everyoneoutschnell", and a column formed in front of the train, five people deepand aboutthree hundred meters long.

In front of me and slightly to the left stood two crematoriums withtallsquare chimneys blowing ash and smoke. We could smell the odor of deathinthe air. When everyone was out of the train and lined up the order wasgiven,"left face and forward march." The column only had to go approximatelyfourhundred meters before making a left turn through the gates of the gaschamber and crematorium.

When it came time for me to make the left handed turn the gate wasonly fifty meters before me. I looked in and saw piles of naked bodiesin thedistance and in a gazebo to the right just inside the gate wereprisoners,women with their hair shaved off playing instruments.

There was a high ranking German Officer standing just outside the gateoverlooking the procedure. As I approached him, he took his cane by thebottom and hooked the curved handle around my neck and pulled me out ofline. My Dad held my hand was allowed to join me. A few more people werepooledout of line. After the entire transport passed through the gate therewere onlyabout twelve saved. The entire transport was gassed and burned thatverysame day.