Oral History

Hana Mueller Bruml describes arrival procedures at Auschwitz

In 1942, Hana was confined with other Jews to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where she worked as a nurse. There, amid epidemics and poverty, residents held operas, debates, and poetry readings. In 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz. After a month there, she was sent to Sackisch, a Gross-Rosen subcamp, where she made airplane parts at forced labor. She was liberated in May 1945.


As we came and we undressed, we had to go through a hallway, naked except in the shoes. An SS came by and looked at our breasts and looked at our bellies, if none of us...if some of us might be pregnant. If they saw anybody pregnant, they pulled them out. So you know, it was...so we were standing there naked, and they came and they looked at our breasts and our bellies. Then we went to a room where they shaved us. And I remember seeing sitting there one of the people I knew with long hair and at that point half of her hair was shaven and half was still long. And I looked at her, and I had few bobby pins, and I kept the bobby pins. I thought when my hair grow I will have the bobby pins. And of course when you all of a sudden see you bald-headed, completely shaven, you look like monkeys. Everybody looks like a monkey. And not only that, with one blade, hundreds of people. And then, with that German thoroughness, they also shaved our pubic hair--about a hundred people with one blade, pubic hair. Uh no cleanliness otherwise, but they shaved the pubic hair.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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