10 revelations from people who survived the Holocaust
Eight million five hundred forty seven thousand six hundred eighty seven
Ninety four million two hundred eleven thousand seven hundred one
What had the experience of people caught in a meat grinder of the Holocaust and miraculously survived, it is impossible to imagine. Witness this tragedy every year there is less and less. That is why we should do everything to have their memories preserved forever — as a guarantee that such will never happen again.
Site publishes a few stories told by eyewitnesses of those terrible events.
We had a pair of scissors. We cut them locks of hair. I get it cut. Throw them on the floor, to the side, and all this should take no more than 2 minutes. Even less than 2 minutes, because the rear was a crowd of women waiting their turn. That's how we worked. It was very hard. It is hard especially because some of the hairdressers — they were out in the queue of their loved ones, their wives, mothers, even grandmothers. Just imagine: we had to cut their hair, but it was impossible even to have a word with them, because talking was forbidden. We had to tell them what awaits them... after about 5 or 7 minutes will drive them to the gas chambers, as immediately began to panic, and all of them still would have killed.
Abraham Is The Bomb
Breeding — it was the most terrible word in the camp: it meant that people, today, still alive, condemned to be burned. Imagine my condition! I knew that losing my mother and not been able to help her. Mother comforted me, saying that the age she had lived and that she was sorry for just us kids. She knew that the same fate awaits us. Two days after the selection of the doomed were kept in the unit, eat like us, and then came for them and took in a special block of death (block 25). They collected the unfortunate from all blocks and the machines were taken to the crematorium. Fire in the sky and the smoke was said that on this day, January 20, burned many innocent poor people; among them was my mother. My only consolation is that I'm going to die, and they are spared from suffering.
The girl from Auschwitz (No. 74233)
And so we started thinking about uprising and about revenge, and it helped us to survive. All these plans did not cost a dime, but we discussed them, we dream of how we come to freedom, and all the Nazis die. We started looking for a way to secretly go to meetings, although there were only a few, because we needed to be careful, and when you came out, you felt like doing something, planning something, trying to do something. If possible, it would be fine. If not, you'll get a bullet in the back, but it's better than to go to the gas chamber. I gave myself a word that will never go to the gas chamber, started to run, I will fight — and they will have to spend on me a bullet. And so we began to prepare and to discuss the plans, and this again helped us to survive, you know, the idea that, perhaps, we will be able to avenge those for whom it is not meant to be.
They, the Hungarian Nazis, was brought to the shore people, bound them in threes, and then shot someone who was standing in the middle, so all three of them fell into the water. And if they saw someone moving, then shot again, just to be sure. And here we settled down on the other side, and the Germans did not notice us because you were busy that were tied up and shot Jews, and we stood on the left Bank, and we had machines with doctors and nurses, and people who had to get us out of the water. There were four of us, three men and I, and we jumped into the water, and due to the fact that the rope was caught in the ice floes, we were able to catch those who were still alive, but we saved only 50 people, and then so numb that nothing could do.
Agnes Mandl Adachi
January 2, 1943, I was enrolled in the team-breaking things, arriving to the camp prisoners. Some of us were engaged in the disassembly of the arriving things, and others of the sort, and group 3 — packing for shipment to Germany. Daily sent to different cities of Germany for 7-8 cars things. Old, worn out stuff went for recycling in Memel and Lodz. The work went on continuously all day and night, day and night, and yet it was impossible to cope with it — so many things. Here, in the bale of children's coat, I found one coat my youngest daughter Lani.
We thought to make 2 holes in the fence, or rather, under the fence, so that the child could crawl to the other side and, you know, to remove from clothing star of David, to try to behave like a normal person and see if we can get some food. And from time to time, the children were able to smuggle into the ghetto some food. I have done this many times. It was very risky, because one who got caught, it would cost lives. I want to say that they had the order to shoot people, to kill offenders. But I've always been lucky, and often I brought home a piece of bread, or carrot, or potato tuber, or the egg, and it was very, very big success. Mother took me promise that I won't risk it, but I didn't listen.
One girl from my school was also in the ghetto with his mother. And here she was sick, very very hard, and they were going to deport her. And then we, her friends, decided that a separate little piece from their meager rations, collect them and bring them to her. You can not imagine what it meant in those days — to give your food. And I had a glove and we were freezing terribly. And here we all are, all my friends took turns wearing the single glove. We passed it to each other, and everyone could at least for a few minutes to warm the frozen fingers of one hand. I don't know whose glove this was actually, but she turned to me and became our General. When after the war we met in England with one of those girls, she asked me, "Blanca, do you remember that his glove?"And I said, "Yes, I remember her."
But to survive I managed a miracle. In front of each barracks was a small box, a separate room for "blockalteste" and "blockalteste" means "chief", "senior Barak", and in these cabins lay the bread boxes. One box door hinge was broken, and I was hiding in that box upside down. And then go to search, and he even kicked the box my leg, but luckily, I was so skinny that he moved. That's how I survived. And then I was hiding in a pile of dead bodies because in the last week of the crematorium was not working and the bodies just piled on top of one another higher and higher. There I spent the night, and the day was just wandering through the camp, and January 27, Birkenau was one of the first camps that was liberated. So I was lucky to survive.
I remember I was lying on the ground. The guy says, "Lord, look at them!"... They began to raise people from the earth. But most people were dead. Those few who were still alive, they have to endure in their trucks and jeeps to drive to the hospitals or to pitch tents and bring them back. Drink their water. They handed out food packages from the red cross. And it was also bad because when people received these packages, they were so hungry that I couldn't resist and pounced on the food. And hundreds of people died because their stomachs unaccustomed to food. Beside me was a man, I don't know, maybe a doctor or something like that, he is also half dead. When they gave him the package — he tells me "don't eat anything. If you eat something, you'll die. Can only sugar to take, take a piece of sugar in his mouth and rassasi it. The only possible, and the rest do not touch". He was right.
We saw from a distance as the gate opens, I saw a jeep with 4 military police in the English form, with white belt, white gloves and red cap. They sat in the jeep in front, with guns in their hands. And the back was driving a truck with loudspeakers from which came: "My dear friends...» in all languages. German, Polish, Yiddish, and so on. "From this moment you are free. You liberated by the allies. The Germans do not have over you any authority. You are free people". All around was crying. It was an incredible sensation. It is hard to describe. People jumped for joy, hugged and kissed. All ran to the jeep. The military police came out and people picked them up and was surrounded by hands around the block. And yet people still did not believe. Many still feared.
Photos on the preview Dennis Jarvis / flickr.com
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