Oral History Interview with Lory Cahn

Lory Cahn, born May 17, 1925 in Breslau, Germany (Wroclaw, Poland), describes growing up in a religious home; her father, who was a lawyer; her younger brother, who was sent to England in the 1930s and joined the British Army and remained in England permanently; how her schooling stopped after Kristallnacht in 1938; her family's failed attempts to immigrate to Argentina; her father being able to buy his way into Theresienstadt and Lory was allowed to stay with her parents when the family was deported in the spring of 1941; the roundup of Jews and the transport by cattle car; life in Theresienstadt; being treated for meningitis with medicine provided by the Red Cross; being sent in 1943 to Auschwitz after a two week trip in a cattle car; surviving the selection; the living and working conditions for female prisoners and the Auschwitz orchestra; the overcrowding of Auschwitz; witnessing many brutal acts; being sent in 1944 to Mauthausen after ten days in Buchenwald; a brutal trip, guarded by SS, to Kurzbach labor camp in Silesia; the pointless labor and starvation; the death march to Gross-Rosen in the fall of 1944 (which only 30 of the 150 in her group survived); being taken to Bergen-Belsen and conditions there; cannibalism; surviving bitter cold, typhus, and starvation; being liberated by British troops April 15, 1945; chaotic conditions in Bergen-Belsen and attempts to rehabilitate the survivors after liberation; many prisoners dying from eating regular food; learning of her mother’s death and that her father was still alive in Theresienstadt; going to Bavaria, in the American zone, with friends; the American Jewish soldiers looking after them; reuniting with her father in Bavaria in April 1946; spending some time in a displaced persons camp in Germany; going to the United States on April 17, 1947 and marrying one of the soldiers she had met in Bavaria; and her father remaining in Germany.

Date: 05/04/1981
Interviewer: Marian Salkin
Interviewee: Lory Cahn
Language: English
Subject: Cannibalism.
Concentration camp inmates--Medical care.
Concentration camp inmates--Selection process.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Jewish soldiers--United States.
Refugee camps--Germany.
Typhus fever.
Women concentration camp inmates.
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations.
Women--Personal narratives.
Geographic Name
Bavaria (Germany)
Lower Saxony (Germany)
Oświęcim (Poland)
Silesia (Poland : Voivodeship)
Terezín (Ústecký kraj, Czech Republic)
Upper Austria (Austria)
Wroclaw (Poland)
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone)
Location: Wroclaw, Poland
Theresienstadt concentration camp
Mauthausen concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp
Kurzbach concentration camp
Gross-Rosen concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp
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