Spots of Light - Women in the Holocaust

Everyday Life

Regina Honigman

Throughout her stay in the camp, Regina kept a diary that projected an ironic view of life. She also reserved place in the diary to record prayers, poems, and friends’ memoirs.

Regina was born in 1918 in Zawiercie, Poland. When the Germans occupied the area, she was deported to Gabersdorf Camp for forced labor. The factory where she worked produced flax threads on spools, with machines that operated from morning to evening.

Regina remained an inmate in Gabersdorf until the liberation. Afterwards, she married Elias Lustigman in Germany. Regina died in Australia in 1992.

And now, a brand new system for learning the ABC’s.

A – ANTEK tracks down blind dates of the girls
B – BARAK (barrack) is the orchestra of the camp
C – CAŁUS (kiss) French kiss tastes good
D – DUPA (ass) is our camp lexicon
E – There is a good ELEMENT in our barracks
F – FABRYKA (factory ) is the grave in our life
FAUL (fault) Everybody wants to fault, but secretly
G – GUZIK (button) is a part of clothing
GÓWNO (shit) is the product of shitting
H – HELA keeps weeping in the camp
HELENA suffers all the time from loin ache
I – The one who is INTERESTED to know about each love affair
IDIOT is she who left her cretin in town
J – JUDE is what we wear in the front and in behind
JEDNAK (however) we belong to a strong people
K – KARTOFLE (potatoes), KORPIELE (swede) is a new era
KRAŚĆ (to steal) them is forbidden because you will be punished
Ł – ŁAD (reason) and order are in our camp
ŁADNA (beautiful) girl reigns everywhere
M – MIŁOŚĆ (love) sweetens the girls’ lives
MASK Falling down always betrays you
N – NYSYM (miracles) We are asking for them
NONSENSE Don’t think of it so that we won’t end up by them
O – OCIEKA (I-will-kill-you glance) We receive OCIEKA from our lovable director
P – PIEPRZ (fuck) Each of us lacks a good PIEPRZ
PANNA (maid) An old PANNA feels it well enough
R – ROK (year) We’ve been sitting for a ROK in the camp
ROK It’s been a ROK that we beg for Salvation
T –TRAMWAJOWE (of trams) The girls have TRAMWAJOWE hearts
W – WOŁY (work-horses) They brought WOŁY here
WOLCIE (in WOLTA) And put them into WOLTA
Z – ŻAŁOŚĆ (sorrows) plague our miserable life
ZAPŁAKANE (in tears) Our eyes are ZAPŁAKANE

Regina, Bergen-Belsen DP camp, 1945-1947Regina, Bergen-Belsen DP camp, 1945-1947