Oral History

Blanka Rothschild describes arrival at the Ravensbrück camp

Blanka was an only child in a close-knit family in Lodz, Poland. Her father died in 1937. After the German invasion of Poland, Blanka and her mother remained in Lodz with Blanka's grandmother, who was unable to travel. Along with other relatives, they were forced into the Lodz ghetto in 1940. There, Blanka worked in a bakery. She and her mother later worked in a hospital in the Lodz ghetto, where they remained until late 1944 when they were deported to the Ravensbrueck camp in Germany. From Ravensbrueck, Blanka and her mother were sent to a subcamp of Sachsenhausen. Blanka was forced to work in an airplane factory (Arado-Werke). Her mother was sent to another camp. Soviet forces liberated Blanka in spring 1945. Blanka, living in abandoned houses, made her way back to Lodz. She discovered that none of her relatives, including her mother, had survived. Blanka then moved westward to Berlin, eventually to a displaced persons camp. She immigrated to the United States in 1947.

Transcript

Ravensbrueck, though, was a hell. We were stripped of our clothes. We went through a medical examination, which was--I cannot even say the word "embarrassing" because the people who conducted it were less than human. They were less than animal. We were many young girls who never undergone gyne...gynecological examinations, and they were looking for, God knows, diamonds or whatever. We were subjected to that. I have even never have seen chair like this before in my life. We are humiliated at every moment.


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  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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