Oral History

Fritzie Weiss Fritzshall describes deportation in cattle car to Auschwitz

Fritzie's father immigrated to the United States, but by the time he could bring his family over, war had begun and Fritzie's mother feared attacks on transatlantic shipping. Fritzie, her mother, and two brothers were eventually sent to Auschwitz. Her mother and brothers died. Fritzie survived by pretending to be older than her age and thus a stronger worker. On a death march from Auschwitz, Fritzie ran into a forest, where she was later liberated.


My grandparents, my aunt, my relatives and all the other Jews in the community, we were all loaded onto this train, going to Auschwitz. When we were put onto this train, which of course I don't need to describe to you--it was a cattle car as you know, no windows, had no seats and no toilet. When we got onto the trains none of us knew we were being taken to a concentration camp. None of us knew anything about Auschwitz. At least I don't think we knew. We honestly thought we were going to be relocated, until the door closed and we heard the lock go on from the outside. I believe that was the first we knew, wherever we were going to be taken to, it was not going to be freedom.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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