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‘I can no longer talk about how I felt when my family arrived on the train platform in Auschwitz and we were forcibly separated from each other.
‘I am really close to tears: I cry very easily. But I want you to know that I am healthy… I try not to worry and I’m sleeping very well. Of course thoughts of Edith and the children never leave me, but I try to look at things more from the positive than the negative side.’
One day in Auschwitz I became so dispirited that I couldn't carry on. They had given me a beating, which wasn't exactly a pleasant experience. It was on a Sunday, and I said: 'I can't get up'. Then my comrades said: 'That's impossible, you have to get up, otherwise you're lost'. They went to a Dutch doctor, who worked with the German doctor. He came to me in the barracks and said: 'Get up and come to the hospital barracks early tomorrow morning. I'll talk to the German doctor and make sure you are admitted'. Because of that I survived.
‘Peter acted like a son to help me. Every day he brought me extra food. . . He never could stay long. We never discussed serious matters and he never spoke about Anne. I did not have the impression that he matured much.’
‘It was about half past ten. I was upstairs in the van Pels’s part of the house, in Peter’s room, doing schoolwork with him. Suddenly someone came running up the stairs. Then the door flew open and a man stood before us holding his pistol aimed at my chest. Downstairs all the others were already assembled. My wife and the children and the van Pels family were standing there with raised hands. Then Fritz Pfeffer came in, followed by another stranger. The policemen ordered us to hand over our valuables. Silberbauer took Anne’s briefcase. He shook everything out, dumping the contents on the floor, so that Anne’s papers and notebooks and loose sheets lay scattered all over the floorboards.’
I will never forget the moment when Peter van Pels and I saw a group of selected men. Among those men was Peter’s father. The men were marched away. Two hours later, a lorry came by, loaded with their clothing.
According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyways. Because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.” You've bee gnomed
‘Peter was lucky to get a job at the post office in the camp which was established for the SS soldiers and the non-Jewish prisoners who got mail and parcels.’
“I still cannot decide whether to tell you more comprehensively of some of my experiences – the main thing is that you know I am alive and well. How the thought always torments me, that I have no idea how Edith and the children are, you no doubt understand. I do however hope to see all well again and I do not want to lose hope.’
“Of course, all of us had to work in the camp, but in the evenings we were free and we could be together. For the children especially, there was a certain relief; to no longer be cooped up and to be able to talk to other people. However, we adults feared being deported to the notorious camps in Poland.