The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/fania.01

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Auschwitz testimony (Fania Fenelon)
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA
Keywords: Auschwitz,Fenelon

Archive/File: camps/auschwitz fania.01
Last-modified: 1993/03/05

Fania Fenelon describes her arrival at Auschwitz, and the moment she
learned the true purpose of the camp, by recounting this brief exchange
with her kapo:

"It was a huge, dark, low shed. A thousand women were crammed into the
three-tiered wooden shelving, with no more room than one's slot in the
morgue. Indeed it was a sort of morgue; the smell of decay seized you by
the throat.

Clara and I, who were among the last, stayed for a few moments by the door.
For some reason I thought of the mother and her little girls. Might I meet
them again? Foolishly, I questioned the blockowa: `Where are the people who
went off in the trucks with the red crosses?'

My temerity astounded her; she stared at me, weighing me up -- was she
going to clout me with her hefty club? Boldly, I repeated: `Where are the
people who went off in the Red Cross trucks?'

She gave a sort of gurgle of a laugh and, seizing my arm in a viselike
hold, forced me to pivot towards the open door: `Look ...' She pointed to a
low building about fifty yards away, above which rose a stubby chimney.
`You see that smoke coming out of that chimney over there? That's your
friends, cooking.'

`All of them?'

`All of them.'

They had not even been given whatever chance the quarantine block offered.
The Red Cross trucks had been a lure.

The blockowa kept her grip on my arm; confidentially she thrust her coarse
fat face towards me. `That's where you'll end up.'

`How could one doubt it?'"(Fenelon, 22-23)

                             Work Cited

Fenelon, Fania, with Marcelle Routier. Playing for Time. New York:
Athenium, 1977. ISBN 0-689-10796-X

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