‘Maybe this is a prison:’ Holocaust survivor shares her story and pleads for communication


Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone, 92, talks about her experience in a German concentration camp, at Glendale Community College in Glendale on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

They traveled for hours on the railroad squeezed tightly into cattle cars, thinking they would travel for six or seven hours and arrive in Germany.

When the train finally stopped 3 1/2 days later, Renée Firestone was among the thousands of people who poured out of the cattle cars where Nazi soldiers and their growling dogs were standing outside.

While exiting the train, Firestone lost sight of her parents in the crowd, but clung to her younger sister.

She was 20 years old then, born and raised in Czechoslovakia, where she lived a peaceful life until that point — when she arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.