Il viaggio verso Auschwitz – pochi ne parlano perché pochi sono tornati – è uno dei capitoli più terribili della Shoah. Il mio è durato sei gironi, e per sei giorni questa umanità viveva stipata nel vagone con le sue miserie, con i suoi bisogni fisici, con i suoi odori di sudore, di urina, di paura. Lo racconto sempre ai ragazzi perché devono sapere, e quando si passa in una stazione qualsiasi e si vedono i vitelli o i maiali portati al mattatoio, penso sempre che io sono stata uno di quei vitelli, uno di quei maiali. The trip to Auschwitz – very few speak about it because very few came back – is one of the most terrible chapters of the Shoah. Mine lasted six days, and for six days this humanity lived hoarded in the freight car with its misery, with its bodily functions, with its smell of sweat, of urine, of fear.  I always tell my students because I want them to know, and when I pass through any station and see calves or pigs being brought to the slaughterhouse, I always think that I was one of those calves, one of those pigs.
I lager nazisti erano isole circondate dal silenzio. Il silenzio della Chiesa, i cui vertici non denunciarono mai. The Nazi lagers were islands surrounded by silence. The silence of the Church, whose leaders never denounced, never.
Vivevamo immersi nella zona grigia dell’indifferenza. L’ho sofferta, l’indifferenza. Li ho visti, quelli che voltavano la faccia dall’altra parte. Anche oggi ci sono persone che preferiscono non guardare” We lived submersed in a grey area of indifference. It has made me suffer, indifference. I saw them, those who turned their faces away. And today too, there are people who prefer not to look.
E li su quelle strade, io ho visto un corteo di fantasmi in marcia. Come abbiamo fatto non lo so: forse era quella che chiamano la forza della disperazione. And there on those streets, I saw a procession of ghosts on foot. How we did it, I don’t know: maybe it was what they call the power of despair.
Più di 6000 ebrei italiani furono deportati ad Auschwitz. Siamo tornati in 363. More than 6000 Italian Jews were deported to Auschwitz. We were 363 when we came back.

 

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

Liliana Segre was born in Milan in 1930. She is one of the few who were deported to Auschwitz and lived to recount it. The excerpts are from her book  “Sopravissuta ad Auschwitz” http://books.google.it/books/about/Sopravissuta_ad_Auschwitz.html?hl=it&id=YhCTNWTNEyEC

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Translation by MatiColarossi Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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