Oral History

Ruth Moser Borsos describes the process of selection for deportations from Westerbork to Auschwitz

Ruth moved to the Netherlands after Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass") in 1938. She and her father had permits to sail to the United States, but Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 and they could not leave. Ruth was deported to the Westerbork camp in 1943 and to the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany in 1944. After an exchange agreement with the Allies broke down, Ruth was interned near the Swiss border until liberation by French forces in 1945.


The lists of those people who were going to be sent to Auschwitz--we assumed it was Auschwitz, we didn't know 100 percent--but the trains came back from Auschwitz usually the conductor or somebody would let on where they came from, to pick up more people and to send them off, to, uh, away, and towards the east. Well, lists were assembled during the day on Monday and on Tuesday they were read off in the barracks, a Kapo came to the barracks and was reading off the names of those who were sent away. And, as you can imagine this was some horrible horrible times. People finding out that this was really probably the end, or they, they--we didn't know 100 percent what was going on in Auschwitz, we...we knew it was terrible but we didn't know exactly how terrible it was. And everybody would help always those who had to leave the camp. They would help them to assemble their stuff, to console them, to give them whatever they had, little food left to give them on the way.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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