9 April 1943
We arrived at this camp at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Much screaming by Ukrainians with mean faces and with sticks in hand. There is an old woman walking in front of me who gets beaten. All of a sudden we hear "packs to be thrown down!" So we threw down our backpacks, walking on we see 2 Krauts who ask us "are you married?" We say no. "Then stand there." We stood there with about 20 girls picked from a transport of 3,000 people. We were taken away from there. We arrive at a small barrack and are again asked for our names and told where we are to sleep.
In the afternoon we went to work and had to sort people's backpacks. We did not know what was going on in Sobibór. We thought of the great food in the packs and clothing and everything your heart desires, chocolate, cigarettes, the most beautiful clothing, 4 to 5 pairs of natural silk stockings that you'll get to wear at work someday. Till the evening when I spoke with Mauritz Zukendelaar and also Mau Troostwijk from Zwolle who told me that all the people that I came along with and those that followed were gassed, murdered, and burned. They then pointed to a large fire burning in Camp 3 where all 10,000 Jews had been burned. It is not to be believed.
When I just write about it doesn’t seem so terrible. It is done in a typical Kraut way, i.e. I.V.1
When you get here, women go to the right and men to the left. They say that you are going to bathe. So first the women. Those who already went to the baths dress themselves in one barrack beyond which you can make out one more barrack (there are actually 3 barracks, the bath is the last one where 30 young Jewish men stand. Those are men from our camp. There are also 3 camps. We sleep in camp 1. We work in camp 2. Camp 3 is where we are being murdered. That is the one you never leave. They can enter the first 2 camps but not into the third one. The 30 men who are standing there cut the hair off all the women [...] Bit by bit people learn that they are going to their death. Children of 4 or 5 know it. One often sees women and children being beaten by Kraut overseers. They carry a leather whip with which they beat people. I have felt it more than once myself [...] I can still see things go very fast when people arrive. They have to throw away the packs that they are carrying. And if they don’t do so, they are beaten. Many women carry their children in their arms and also carry many packages. Also saw one woman threw her backpack down but the child falls down with it. She cries out "Oh, God, my child, my child." She quickly tries to get the child back. As a Kraut sees her he says [illegible] and beats the woman on her face. With blood running down her face she goes on running and screaming, "my child," she is beaten again and again cries out, "my child," whereupon he says, "we will take care of the child." Later we sort the packs. How many times did we find a child among them? I cannot describe everything I experienced or heard and I therefore also hope that there will remain some people who come from such a camp who survive. Every kraut is responsible for this outrage, because they willingly listened to Hitler. I continue on about the women. So they no longer have any hair and they come into a barrack with many shower heads from which there does not flow any water but gas [...]
26 July 1944
Did not write more yesterday. Chaim did not want me to write outside. Today I can, we are really free, unbelievable, and I am writing outside. Is it really true? Yes, we keep saying to each other. We are human beings again and can speak to people. Chaim spoke to two Russians this morning, and thanked them for liberating us. We walked to the village, to see a doctor. I am pregnant, we are almost sure, my tummy is getting bigger; what else could it be? Th e doctor did not say it for sure; he could not do anything for me since he was only a student. We went to Adam’s brother-in-law.2 It hurts me to be treated like we are nothing. As soon as the front is through, we will go to the city to get paperwork for me. When we came back from our visit to the village, I could not walk anymore, it felt like my legs were filled with lead. God give me the strength and health to return to Holland and that Bram and his family are still alive and that we still have some good friends there that are willing to help us. I am so afraid that there is no more goodness in the world. Since we have been down from the loft, people were not very friendly. It probably feels that way because I cannot understand the people. Chaim is helping Adam inthe field, and I knit.
29 July 1944
We are walking and working the last few days. I did laundry yesterday, and for the first time everything is clean. Also big news, I am pregnant, if the baby could only be born in Holland and in good health, then we should receive this peace with joy. It should have been better to have a baby a little later. Chaim is helping in the field, he makes bundles from the wheat. We will go to Golm tomorrow, if everything is alright. Always something, they will not give us anything for the ring. If only God does not leave us and luck stays with us, we have 2 healthy hands to earn a living with. I cannot walk well yet, my feet are swollen, that hurts. For as long as we have beendown from the loft, we have not received one friendly word from Stefka. [. . .]
6 August 1944
We are already one week in Golm. We have tried to fi nd some money, and I also went to the doctor. I am very weak and cannot walk. My feet hurt so bad and are swollen and also my tummy is swollen and my pants are too small. I cannot turn very well. We have the help from a captain from the hospital. Maybe Chaim will work at the hospital and it would not be necessary to go away. We are staying in a house with Jews. We sleep on top of the bedding covered by our clothes. We are strong. I do not know where this is going. My feet hurt so badly. If I had money and a good doctor. We do not sleep well, we wake each other up. Is this living in peace? Is this what we longed for? God help us, we cannot continue like this.
13 August 1944
We are already in Chełm for 14 days. Chaim is working for the Red Cross. I am in the house with the Jews in a room full of straw and fleas. Life is very difficult, and it is almost not possible to continue. At night late everybody still speaks loud and when it starts getting light in the morning again, and I am so tired. I burned my leg and have a large wound. It hurts. Is this the peace we longed for, I cannot continue like this? I am so tired, do not feel like this is living anymore, I am crying all the time. I guess I will not give birth to a happy child. Chaim has to work tonight and I am always alone. Why do I have to suff er so much?
24 August 1944
We have no roof above our heads, we walk from corner to corner to find a place. We have no money, what to do. In two months, the baby will be born. I cannot do this anymore, we are going back to Adam. I would like to have some rest, is that too much. God, let me die. I have enough of this life.