What happened on the day before Christmas day?
There was a big selection in Block No. 4, the hospital block. Over 3000 Jewish women had to parade in this selection, which was under the charge of Hoessler. We had to leave our beds very quickly and stand quite naked to attention in front of him and the doctors, Enna and Koenig. All those who could not leave their beds had their numbers taken, and it was clear to us that they were condemned to death. Those whose bodies were not very nice looking or were too thin, or whom those gentlemen disliked for some reason or other, had their numbers taken, and it was clear what that meant. My number also was taken. We stayed in Block No. 4 for a night and the next day were taken to Block No. 18. About half-past five in the evening trucks arrived and we were loaded into them, quite naked like animals, and were driven to crematorium.
When you reached the crematorium what happened there?
The whole truck was tipped over in the way they do it sometimes with potatoes or coal loads, and we were led into a room which gave me the impression of a shower-bath. There were towels hanging round, and sprays, and even mirrors. I cannot say how many were in the room altogether, because I was so terrified, nor do I know if the doors were closed. People were in tears; people were shouting at each other; people were hitting each other. There were healthy people, strong people, weak people and sick people, and suddenly I saw fumes coming in through a very small window at the top. I had to cough very violently, tears were streaming from my eyes, and I had a sort of feeling in my throat as if I would be asphyxiated. I could not even look at the others because each of us concentrated on what happened to herself,
What was the next thing you remember?
At that moment I heard my name called. I had not the strength to answer it, but I raised my arm. Then I felt someone take me and throw me out from that room. Hoessler put a blanket round me and took me on a motor cycle to the hospital, where I stayed six weeks. As the result of the gas I had still, quite frequently, headaches and heart trouble, and whenever I went into the fresh air my eyes were filled with tears. I was subsequently taken to the political department and apparently I had been taken out of the gas chamber because I had come from a prison in Lublin, which seemed to make a difference, and, apart from that, my husband was a Polish officer.
We were then taken by tipper-type lorries to the gas chamber chute. They were large lorries, about eight in all and about 300 persons on each lorry. On arrival at the gas chamber the lorry tipped up and we slid down the chute through some doors into a large room. The room had showers all round, towels and soap and large numbers of benches. There were also small windows high up near the roof. Many were injured coming down the chute and lay where they fell. Those of us who could sat down on the benches provided and immediately afterwards the doors of the room were closed. My eyes then began to water, I started coughing and had a pain in my chest and throat. Some of the other people fell down and others coughed and foamed at the mouth. After being in the room for about two minutes the door was opened and an S.S. man came in wearing a respirator. He called my name and then pulled me out of the room and quickly shut the door again. When I got outside I saw S.S. man Franz Hoessler, whom I identify as No. 1 on photograph 9. He took me to hospital, where I stayed for about six weeks, receiving special treatment from Dr. Mengele. For the first few days I was at the hospital I found it impossible to eat anything without vomiting. I can only think that I was taken out of the gas chamber because I had an Aryan husband and therefore was in a different category from the other prisoners, who were all Jews. I now suffer from a weak heart and had two attacks since being at Belsen.