See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada

Before the War
The Holocaust
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
II. Auschwitz & Muhldorf
When liquidating the ghetto, they stuffed about ninety of us into a cattle car. Some people began to panic. The doors were slammed shut and there was nothing to do but hope and pray. The temperature inside soon became very hot. Fresh air was only available near the four barbed-wired openings situated at each upper corner of the wagon. The children were crying, the sick and old wheezed for lack of oxygen and water.

The two Hungarian military guards stationed outside each wagon demanded valuables from us as soon as the doors were shut. They threatened to shoot us if we did not comply. We gave them whatever little we had. At each stop, they were ready to trade wedding bands and watches for water. But the water was never delivered and some of the weaker people in the wagon were close to dying. After a few days the SS replaced the Hungarian guards. When the SS also demanded valuables, all we had left to give them were gloves, socks and spools of thread. The train moved, then stopped, and moved again for a few more days — without water, food or basic sanitation.
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Bill's Map
I. Satu Mare, Romania
II. Auschwitz & Muhldorf
III. At Liberation
IV. Life as a Refugee
V. Sailing to Canada
VI. Becoming Canadian
Abbreviation for Schutzstaffel (Defence Protective Units), usually written with two lightning symbols. Initially established as Hitler's personal bodyguard, the SS was transformed into a larger organization by Heinrich Himmler. Although some SS units were assigned to the battlefield, the organization is best known for its role in the destruction of European Jewry.