Oral History

Ludmilla Page describes leaving Auschwitz and arriving at the Bruennlitz munitions factory in the Sudetenland

Ludmilla was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Kishinev, Romania. She and her mother, a physician, were living in Poland when the Germans invaded on September 1, 1939. They were taken to Krakow. Ludmilla was forced to live in the Krakow ghetto; her mother was sent to the Warsaw ghetto. Ludmilla worked in a factory at the Plaszow labor camp for a businessman who was a friend of the German industrialist Oskar Schindler. In October 1944, Schindler attempted to save some Jewish workers by relocating them to a munitions factory in Bruennlitz, in the Sudetenland. Ludmilla was among those on Schindler's list to be relocated. She and about 300 other women were detained briefly in Auschwitz before reaching Bruennlitz. There, some of the workers sought to sabotage the production of munitions. Ludmilla was liberated in early May 1945.

Transcript

So, finally, after about three weeks, I think we lost the count of time, over there, they told us, they, someone came, probably a Blockaelteste [block elder], you know, or some German, I don't remember exactly, and started to call our names. Well, that was already good because we knew we are the 300 womans and, women, and she called us by name. We didn't know what she wants us for, but they led us to a side, a train station, like on the sideline, and they put us in the trains again, packed like sardines. Of course, no toilets. There was a, a pail in the middle. No food, we didn't get any food. I don't know if some of us had a little piece of bread from, from, from Birkenau, we had, and after a while, the train started to go. We were only guessing, we didn't know where we going because first of all, there are no windows in the, in, in the cattle cars. We stopped, I think, on the way. The German soldiers let us go out for a while, you know, to, and we had some snow that we took from the ground and kind of, in...instead of a drink. And finally we arrived in some very desolate station, and it said Bruennlitz. It said Bruennlitz, so of course we were terribly excited that finally we arrived at our destination, but in the background, we saw some very tall chimneys. And as we marched to Schindler's camp, which we assumed will be Schindler's camp, we marched by fives, and I was walking, among other friends, with a girl who come originally from Germany, but she was deported from Germany to Poland, and in Poland to camp in Plaszow, and with us to Birkenau, and to Schindler's camp. Her name was Margot, and she said to me, "Oh my God, now we're going to die. Do you see these chimneys?" And I said, I always get upset...and I said to her, "Margot, you know, we cannot die, because if we would be destined to die, we would die in Birkenau."


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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