Before being sent to Auschwitz I spent time in a labour camp.
Food was scarce but we were able to wash and wear our own clothes.
There were even moments of kindness.
A German supervisor would leave things in my locker...
...a piece of bread, half an apple, a small piece of soap.
Another German supervisor employed three thousand Jews in his factory.
He was able to delay the day of their deportation.
Eventually he was arrested and hanged by the Gestapo.
Things changed so violently when we arrived at Auschwitz.
We were modest middle class girls. We had to strip naked in view of men.
Our hair was hacked away. We were stripped physically, emotionally, spiritually.
We soon looked so grotesque we couldn't recognize each other.
The Nazis developed an elaborate system of dehumanisation.
Hunger, torture, loss, humiliation.
It revealed the human capacity to do evil to another human being.
I saw a woman wrench a blanket from her own sister, saying "I must survive".
Auschwitz did not change people.
It revealed what was hidden deep inside.