Oral History

Dorotka (Dora) Goldstein Roth describes retaliation against women for an escape from Stutthof

After the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Dora's family fled to Vilna, Lithuania. When the Germans occupied Vilna, Dora's father was shot and the rest of the family was confined in the Vilna ghetto. Dora, her sister, and her mother were deported to the Kaiserwald camp in Latvia and then to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig. Her mother and sister perished in Stutthof. Dora herself was shot immediately before liberation, but she survived.


Yes, we were punished in Stutthof for--I still had my mother and sister and we were punished for three women [who] escaped the camp. You know, I was in Auschwitz lately, and I saw the wires, the electric wires, and it was a flashback to this moment. I don't understand how they escaped. I really don't because up...the, the electric wires were not always on, but when they saw someone very near or when the saw someone that wants to touch them, they put it on and they were dead. Now, how those three women escaped electric wires, I don't know. But, they did. They couldn't find them. And we were punished, twelve hours naked in cold weather, and the additional punishment was they took out four or five, and I don't remember how many women, and in front of all that, of the women that--we stood in a row, you know--they raped in a rape that I have never read or seen it, not in a movie and not on the television, and certainly you can say that we have a terrible television, with all kinds of stories. And to see those young women raped by the men there with sticks, and...and my mother was near me and she took her hand and put it on, on my eyes, [so] I shouldn't see for the first time sexual intercourse. I had never seen sexual intercourse.


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