we were destroyed by weapons;
inside, by terror."
January 1945: We were now with many others near the Austrian
border. Imagine the oval brick burner building with its small
opening filled with crawling skeletons. For two nights, we
were forced to stay in the furnace room. The smell of
decomposing bodies and incineration containers full of human
excrement was indescribable. In the darkness, we had no way to
distinguish the dead from the dying. Millions of lice had
invaded us. What a hopeless fight–fingers exhausted from
endless scratching and nails broken by futile smashing. This
point marked the beginning of an epidemic. My suspicions about
our destiny were confirmed.
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