The whole thing was set up very cleverly. The people who were torn from their normal lives and put on the trains may have heard that terrible things were happening in Auschwitz, but even up to the end, they kept on thinking: Perhaps it isn't so bad after all. And then they arrived and the SS told them: "The old people and the sick can take the truck. Anyone who is still young can walk." It took us a while to realize that the ones who were being driven were really being taken to the gas chambers.
You know, being Jewish is problematic. Most people really don't know what exactly it means to be a Jew. We belong to a community of suffering, and that's what binds us together. But we are also extremely diverse. That's something I wish people who hate Jews as a group because they think they're so different would understand. We're also completely different within our own group! Essentially, we're just part of a community that has suffered a great deal, and not just in the Holocaust.
Auschwitz was one of the wealthiest places in the world. Everyone who was deported there had been in such a hurry that they were only able to take along the things they loved the most. Well, of course, a musician would take along her instrument. But then they would take these precious possessions away from the prisoners once they arrived. All these things were kept in a part of the camp the prisoners called "Canada." It was like a giant warehouse.