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‘At the age of 13 we did not want to live’ - Holocaust survivors recall horrors of death camps  *EXCLUSIVE* *PARTNER CONTENT*05:14

‘At the age of 13 we did not want to live’ - Holocaust survivors recall horrors of death camps *EXCLUSIVE* *PARTNER CONTENT*

Russian Federation, Moscow
January 27, 2020 at 09:55 GMT -00:00 · Published

Poland-born Ksenia Olkhova and her little sister Lidia Turovskaya spent several months in the Auschwitz death camp after being captured by the Nazis during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. In an interview with RT, the Holocaust survivors recalled how they ended up in Auschwitz and met the Red Army in the liberated capital of Poland.

The sisters told how they were taken to Auschwitz in cattle carriages, not knowing whether their next destination would be their last.

“We were put into roofless cattle wagons which were taking us to an unknown destination. There were some men who supposedly knew where we were going, so they were dismantling the boards, made of wooden planks, and dived under the wheels. I don’t know if they survived after that, but they surely were aware of our destination. There was Hitler’s order to destroy Warsaw, to shoot everyone who surrenders and to kill all survivors," Ksenia recalled.

The sisters spent three months in Auschwitz, during which they were used the Nazis’ medical experiments due to their rare blood type.

Ksenia and Lidia left the camp in December 1944 after the first Allied planes were spotted and Nazis started to destroy evidence of their crimes. The women were thrown to unheated freight trains and deported to concentration camps in Germany.

“We were simply pushed into the wagons which had cracks so it was freezing there because of the wind. We heard when Polish voices outside changed for German speech and understood that it was a German territory. We heard people talking and running as the wagon sometimes stopped. People in our wagon were dying – there were mothers with babies and wounded people. Corpses stacked in piles were used to cover cracks to stop the wind,” Ksenia recalled.

Ksenia recalled the day their camp was finally liberated.

“One day Polish women ran into the barracks and shouted: ‘Freedom! Freedom!’ But, you know, we didn’t care about freedom at that moment – we simply did not want to live. At the age of 13 we did not want to live."

After being liberated by the British troops, the women were offered the chance to emigrate to England, but declined it and instead travelled to Warsaw to look for their mother, who was nowhere to be found.

As the sisters got to the Polish capital, they were greeted by Soviet troops, who gave them food.

"When we entered Warsaw we didn’t see Americans or English – we saw Russians and they gave us food. It was Soviet Red Army who entered Warsaw first, but it had already been bombed.”

Amid growing tensions between Russia and Poland over World War II on how to interpret the past, Olkhova says she has never experienced any problems in Poland.

“When we go to Poland we meet people whose parents lived through war. They remember and appreciate Russian contribution into victory, respect Russia and are grateful to its people very much.”

Approximately 1.1 million people are believed to have been killed in Auschwitz from June 1940 to January 1945 until it was liberated by the Red Army.

‘At the age of 13 we did not want to live’ - Holocaust survivors recall horrors of death camps  *EXCLUSIVE* *PARTNER CONTENT*05:14
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Poland-born Ksenia Olkhova and her little sister Lidia Turovskaya spent several months in the Auschwitz death camp after being captured by the Nazis during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. In an interview with RT, the Holocaust survivors recalled how they ended up in Auschwitz and met the Red Army in the liberated capital of Poland.

The sisters told how they were taken to Auschwitz in cattle carriages, not knowing whether their next destination would be their last.

“We were put into roofless cattle wagons which were taking us to an unknown destination. There were some men who supposedly knew where we were going, so they were dismantling the boards, made of wooden planks, and dived under the wheels. I don’t know if they survived after that, but they surely were aware of our destination. There was Hitler’s order to destroy Warsaw, to shoot everyone who surrenders and to kill all survivors," Ksenia recalled.

The sisters spent three months in Auschwitz, during which they were used the Nazis’ medical experiments due to their rare blood type.

Ksenia and Lidia left the camp in December 1944 after the first Allied planes were spotted and Nazis started to destroy evidence of their crimes. The women were thrown to unheated freight trains and deported to concentration camps in Germany.

“We were simply pushed into the wagons which had cracks so it was freezing there because of the wind. We heard when Polish voices outside changed for German speech and understood that it was a German territory. We heard people talking and running as the wagon sometimes stopped. People in our wagon were dying – there were mothers with babies and wounded people. Corpses stacked in piles were used to cover cracks to stop the wind,” Ksenia recalled.

Ksenia recalled the day their camp was finally liberated.

“One day Polish women ran into the barracks and shouted: ‘Freedom! Freedom!’ But, you know, we didn’t care about freedom at that moment – we simply did not want to live. At the age of 13 we did not want to live."

After being liberated by the British troops, the women were offered the chance to emigrate to England, but declined it and instead travelled to Warsaw to look for their mother, who was nowhere to be found.

As the sisters got to the Polish capital, they were greeted by Soviet troops, who gave them food.

"When we entered Warsaw we didn’t see Americans or English – we saw Russians and they gave us food. It was Soviet Red Army who entered Warsaw first, but it had already been bombed.”

Amid growing tensions between Russia and Poland over World War II on how to interpret the past, Olkhova says she has never experienced any problems in Poland.

“When we go to Poland we meet people whose parents lived through war. They remember and appreciate Russian contribution into victory, respect Russia and are grateful to its people very much.”

Approximately 1.1 million people are believed to have been killed in Auschwitz from June 1940 to January 1945 until it was liberated by the Red Army.

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