Nesse's family had a dairy business. The Germans occupied Lithuania in 1941 and established a ghetto in Siauliai. Nesse lived in the ghetto until 1943 when she was old enough to work. In 1944 Nesse, her mother, and a brother were deported to the Stutthof camp near Danzig. Nesse worked in several Stutthof subcamps until January 1945, when the inmates were put on a death march. She was liberated by the Soviets in March. Nesse, her mother, and two brothers survived, and she arrived in the United States in 1950.
I was working at that time in the war hospital. My job was to put wood into stoves so the German soldiers would keep warm. You know we had a job, we had to do our job. That morning when I came to my commander to go to work -- it was exactly November 5, 1943, when I went with my group to go out to work -- we saw outside of the ghetto trucks, trucks covered with canvas, we were told we cannot go to work. I remember running back to my room. My mother put two dresses on me one dress on top of another. You see people said maybe they don't let you take along a bundle. To be safe, a little bread in the pocket, a coin in the pocket, we were prepared to be deported. A half hour or whatever, I don't remember exactly, maybe 20 minutes, it was a short time, the Jewish police were running through the ghettos saying a mistake was made in the order, all the working people should leave the ghetto. Chaos. People did not know what's better. Some people said it's better to hide in that Malina, in the hiding place -- Malina was called the hiding place during those times, a Malina -- some people said it's better to go to work. The Jewish police ran through and said whoever can go out to work -- we had marvelous people that were Jewish police in my city. You won't hear not one had word about the leadership and the Jewish police in Šiauliai up to a certain point because after a certain point them to cover other people that the Germans appointed, they brought them from the outside, it was different. But as long as we had our own people from our home town it was good. So they said it's better to go to work. I remember leaving that day for work but all day long we wondered. What were the trucks doing near the ghetto. At one point in that hospital we worked with a german, he was from a building commander that was called Ortek (ph) and he was a civilian and he was pretty nice man, he gave us sometime a little bread but he had nothing to do with the security or taking care of the Jews. His job was building whatever. So we asked this man to go near the ghetto and see what's happening. When he came back he said nothing happened but we saw he was pale, we saw he was bothered. But he said nothing, there was nothing there. That evening when we were coming back from work, blocks and blocks away from the ghetto, Linda, we heard cries, such cries I hope nobody will hear. What happened in the ghetto of Siauliai, Lithuania on November 5, 1943, SS and Gestapo with the help of Ukranians, Ukranians that left the Russians and joined the evil cause so many of them just came -- so many of them just came and joined to kill Jewish people, it was terrible time -- they went into the ghetto, they found every hiding place, they went in, they broke every dish, every pillow, made every single person come to the gate near that place where you gathered for work, all the children, all the elderly, all the sick, all the babies that were born illegally in the ghetto. You see, they told us we were not allowed to be pregnant but women got pregnant. They stayed in their little room in the Ghetto. If they were caught in the selection, then they were caught, but if they were not caught they had their baby in the ghetto. But on that day not one child was spared. At the gate a selection to the right and to the left, a thousand children. Five hundred elderly and sick and a few hundred healthy and strong, including two men from our Jewish Community Council because these two men said to them "Where are you taking these children?" They said "To a better camp, you are welcome to come and check it out" and they put them on the trucks too. We did not know then where they were taken to. We honestly believed that they were taken to another camp where they have children. They said these children need supervision, you all go to work, we will take care of them. After the war we found out they were taken to Auschwitz where they were gassed and cremated, they did not even keep them there one day.
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