I arrived in the camp in August, after graduating from high school, in the middle of the summer break. I had a nice tan; thick, long braids; attention-grabbing eyes (friends from the Home Army gave me a nickname “bluetail” because they were so blue); manicure and pedicure… I took care of myself despite being so young. They had run out of clogs in the camp and so we were allowed to wear our own shoes. I was wearing new, white platform shoes. Very fashionable, even today.
We were being fixed by three German women. One of them hated Polish women, but I aroused her interest. When they were cutting our hair, they shaved all my friends bald, but kept my braids intact. A German nurse said I was to be taken to the camp hospital. A Czech doctor took care of me. She kept me in the hospital area for about a year.
- Your good look helped you survive.
Beauty may be a blessing as much as a curse. As we were driven through the streets of Warsaw, Ukrainian troops picked out the prettiest girls out of the crowd and raped them. My mother had told me to make the ugliest face, frown, and pretend I was handicapped. It worked for me, but my friend didn’t receive such smart advice.