Uncle Julius "Julek" Zylberger was a Holocaust survivor, and he wrote several letters about his experience.
My Experiences During World War II
I Am Jewish. The Nazis came to Lodz 9-7-1939. There was no food. My mother stood in line for bread all night in front of the bakery. She did not get bread because she was thrown out of the line. Anti-semitic Polish children did that. They told the guard that she was Jewish.
When the ghetto was established there was a rationing system. There was little food on the ration. We were four people in our room: my father, my mother, my brother Shabsa and me. We had to go to work. My father went to work in a textile factory. He worked in one all his life. My brother worked in a tailoring resort. He was a tailor before the war. I also worked in a tailoring resort during the war years.
There was starvation at all times. It was very hard, especially for my mother, to see us starve. These things left a lasting impression on me. My father died of starvation, bad sickness. We tried to help him but we were not successful. My brother was shipped out of the ghetto in 1944. We had an indirect letter from him by a third party. They were saying that he was well. It was a lie. We now know that they were all killed.
In September 1944 my mother and I were sent to Auschwitz in closed cattle cars. I was frightened but I was with my beloved mother. On arrival we were separated. I believe I saw my mother's face but either I cannot or I am unable to remember it.
I was selected to go to the right, to life. I recall that I pushed the Nazi's arm when he tried to feel if I am still strong. After going through a shower procedure that was very demeaning, I was shaved of my hair.