First published:Winter 1998
Jeanine Rivais: Rosemarie Koczy, speak to us of your origins.
Rosemarie Koczy: I was born in 1939 in Germany, near Recklinghausen. In 1942 my family and I were deported to the Traunstein camp, near Dachau, and at three years old, I was transported by cattle car to Ottenhausen, a sub-camp of Natzweiler-Struthof, near Saarbrucken. I was there from 1942 to 1945, and then I was returned to my grandparents and lived with them until my grandmother's death.
After that I was placed in an orphanage where I had to work fifteen hours a day. Some of the orphans had been mutilated during the war. Their stumps were at times so purulent that we saved the soft insides of our bread so that they could stuff it into their artificial limbs.