Blum said the only thing they were told to pack were pots and pans, since they were told they would become cooks.
Since families did not want to be separated, Blum said “we crushed in more and more to the wagon. They packed us in like sardines.”
It was a four-day journey to Auschwitz, with no stops in between.
The families soon found out why they were told to bring pots and pans.
There were no restrooms in the train cars, so the only way to use the restroom and avoid standing in their own waste was collecting it from the pots and pans.
Blum said it was a surreal experience when they arrived at the concentration camp.
Upon arriving, Blum said they were greeted by a band and other revelry to welcome the more than 7,000 people to the camp.
“We got the reception you would never believe,” she said.
Blum had long, black hair, so long that when she pulled it out of her pony tail, it became a tripping hazard.
The 15-year-old Blum was told by her grandmother to go back to the train car and get something to brush her hair with.
Blum went to the train car and found a beautiful black scarf on the floor, which brought a smile to her face.
“My spirit was pretty high for a moment,” she said.
It was that moment when a car with a red cross pulled up to the camp.
When the back was opened up, it revealed nothing but corpses.
“I thought ‘there’s evil going on here,” she said. “Something wrong is going on.”
Blum turned and saw her mother standing in line to enter, but was too far away, and the crowd too large to reach her, despite her screams to get her attention while they were waiting in line to enter a large building.