Amazing Holocaust survivor stories and adventures.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Fake Holocaust Survivors, WWII Footage, Comfort Women, WWII documentary films, Nazi Archives, Children of Holocaust, Auschwitz Survivors.
Holocaust survivor condemns German court for jailing the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz
A Holocaust survivor who adopted the grandson of an SS commander blamed for the murder of one million people including her parents has condemned the German court for jailing a Nazi concentration camp guard. Oscar Groening, 95, known as `the bookkeeper of Auschwitz`, was convicted to four years in prison for being an accessory to murder by cataloguing valuables of the concentration camp`s victims. But Eva Mozes Kor, 82, who was subjected to twisted experiments in Auschwitz, has said she is sorry the court did not comply with her request to set him free.
Tunnel Used by LIthuania Jews To Escape Nazi Ponary Massacre Is Uncovered
A tunnel in Lithuania used by Jews to escape the Nazis during World War II has been uncovered by an international research team. The tunnel used by the prisoners of Ponar to escape from the Nazis was located using the new technology Electric Resistivity Tomography. The 100-foot-long tunnel at the Ponar forest massacre site near Vilnius has been located through the joint efforts of the Israel Antiquities Authority, University of Hartford, Advisian, Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum and the PBS Series NOVA.
Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel dies aged 87
The Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel has died aged 87. He became famous after writing about his experiences as a teenager in Nazi concentration camps, where he lost his mother, father and younger sister. He dedicated his life to ensuring the Nazi atrocities were never forgotten, and the president of the World Jewish Congress has called him "a beacon of light". Elie Wiesel was born in Romania in 1928. In 1940 his town, Sighet, was part of a region that was annexed by Hungary. Four years later the town`s entire Jewish population, including 15-year-old Elie and his family, was deported to Auschwitz.
Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)
Auschwitz survivor on how cello saved her life - and playing for Nazi doctor Josef Mengele
With an Auschwitz camp number tattooed on her arm, 18-year-old Anita Lasker-Wallfisch was dragged away to audition for her life. As a new arrival to the Nazi death camp in 1943, she faced being murdered in the gas chambers within weeks. But the 90-year-old holocaust survivor knows there was just one reason she made it out of the horror alive – her cello. `I was asked what I did before the war and mentioned I used to play. Unbelievably this woman said, ‘Fantastic, you will be saved.`" She joined the Women`s Orchestra Of Auschwitz – a 40-strong group set up by order of the SS as a distraction from their role as mass murderers. On one occasion Angel Of Death Josef Mengele demanded to hear Schumann` s Träumerei.
Meet The Survivors Of Auschwitz 70 Years After Its Liberation
Jan. 27 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of infamous Auschwitz, a Nazi German concentration and death camp that executed almost 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, during the World War II. The death camps were liberated by Soviet Union`s Red Army in 1945 and about 200,000 inmates were rescued. Here are some of the brave souls who survived the horrors of Auschwitz camp...
How news of D-Day reached the Nazi death camps
News of the Allied invasion of Normandy quickly spread across Europe, fueling hope even among those languishing in Nazi concentration camps. Jacques Moalic was one of the detainees in Buchenwald at the time. For the 50th anniversary of the landing, in June 1994, he wrote this first-hand account of how the news filtered through to Buchenwald and other camps: "We had barely passed through the forged iron gate when another French deportee came, his face ecstatic, and murmured to us: `They have landed. It`s official. The Germans have confirmed it`."
Mistaken For Twins: How Two Italian Sisters Survived Auschwitz
Two sisters -- Tatiana and Andra Bucci -- return to the camp 70 years after they were first brought there, sharing memories of snowball fights, feelings of guilt and the need to never forget.
Survivor of medical experiments performed on twin children at Auschwitz answers questions on Reddit
Eva Mozes Kor, a survivor of medical experiments performed on twin children at Auschwitz, answers questions on Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).
The mass escape of Jews from Nazi-occupied Denmark
In September 1943, the Nazi secret police - the Gestapo - had decided to deport all Danish Jews to concentration camps. The raid was scheduled for Friday 1 October, when they had hoped to find families gathering for the Jewish Sabbath dinner. But when they raided their homes, they found fewer than 300 people still there from the original 8,000 Jews. A few days earlier, Georg Duckwitz, a German naval attache working at the German embassy in Copenhagen, had tipped off Hans Hedtoft, a leading member of the Danish Labour party. Hedtoft warned the Jewish community to leave.
Escaping the train to Auschwitz - One boy who jumped to freedom retains vivid memories
On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. But resistance fighters stopped the train. Simon Gronowski, who jumped to freedom that night, retains vivid memories, 70 years later. "My parents had made a mistake - only one, but a serious one, which was… to have been born Jewish - a crime that, at the time, could only be punished by death."
Helga`s Diary: A Young Girl`s Account of Life in a Concentration Camp
Helga Weiss is one of only 100 children to survive Auschwitz out of the 15,000 sent there from the concentration camp at Terezín, north of Prague. Altogether, between 1941 and 1945, she and her mother were sent to four camps: Terezín, Auschwitz, Freiberg and Mauthausen. Helga, a Czech Jewish girl, was sent with her parents to the concentration camp at Terezin, a few days after her 12th birthday in 1941. She kept a diary, in words and pictures, and when she and her mother were sent on to Auschwitz in 1944, her uncle bricked the diary into a wall for safekeeping.
Antoni Dobrowolski, oldest Auschwitz survivor, dies aged 108
The oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp has died aged 108 in Debno, Poland. A teacher, Antoni Dobrowolski was imprisoned for giving secret lessons during Germany`s occupation of Poland. He was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the Nazi concentration camp in 1942. Education for Poles was restricted to just 4 years during the Nazi occupation, in an effort to suppress Polish culture. Dobrowolski was part of an underground effort to continue education for children.
Auschwitz survivor Wilhelm Brasse, who took photographs for doctor Josef Mengele, dies aged 95
Wilhelm Brasse, who as a prisoner at Auschwitz was forced to photograph the experiments of doctor Josef Mengele, has passed away at 95. Brasse`s work also included taking photos of his inmates for id cards, resulting in a collection of 39,000 images that survived the war. With the Soviet Red Army approaching, on January 17, 1945, Brasse`s Nazi commander ordered him to burn all his negatives, but they turned out to be non-flammable and so were saved. Born in 1917 into an ethnic Austrian family, Brasse worked as a photographer in Poland. At the outbreak of WWII, he refused to sign the "Volksliste" pledging allegiance to Nazi Germany and joined the Polish army instead. Captured by the Nazis during an attempt to cross the Hungarian border in 1940, he became prisoner 3444 at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
A beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors has been held in Israel for the first time, stirring controversy
14 women, aged 74 to 97, walked along a red carpet in the city of Haifa and described their personal sufferings from the Nazis during World War II. Hava Hershkovitz, 79, who had to flee her native Romania, was crowned the winner of the pageant. Organizers said the contest was a celebration of life, but critics denounced it as offensive. The beauty pageant was organised by Shimon Sabag organisation, who said the 14 finalists had been chosen from hundreds of applicants based on their stories of survival and their later contributions to local communities. About 200,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel today.
Nazi horrors revisited: Holocaust survivors developing PTSD in old age
An increasing number of Holocaust survivors are only now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder decades after the horrors of the Nazi death camps. Most patients with PTSD, such soldiers returning from conflict, develop symptoms within 6 months of a traumatic event. But in the cases of those incarcerated or fleeing Hitler, the incubation period is proving to be many years longer. Researchers say the problem is coming to the fore partly because few survivors sought help soon after the event, while most appeared highly resilient as they set their minds on work, family and a new life.
Arno Lustiger, Holocaust survivor and historian who put a spotlight on Jewish resistance against the Nazis, dies
Arno Lustiger, a Holocaust survivor and historian who put a spotlight on Jewish resistance against the Nazis, has passed away at the age of 88. Lustiger`s "greatest contribution for all time" was in "rescuing from oblivion the story of Jewish resistance in the Shoah. He also made an important contribution to education and analysis about the darkest chapter of German history through his research on Jewish resistance and on non-Jewish rescuers of Jews during World War II," Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement.
Historians race clock to collect Holocaust survivor stories
Israel`s Yad Vashem memorial contains the largest archive in the world of historic material related to the Holocaust and it has been intensifying its campaign to record the accounts of survivors. Teams of historians have been dispatched to interview elderly survivors in their homes and collect artifacts. Since its establishment in 1953, Yad Vashem, has collected 400,000 photographs, recorded 110,000 victims` video testimonies and amassed 138 million pages of documents on the Nazis` genocide of Jews in Europe.
Online tool featuring video testimonies of Holocaust survivors debuts at UN
Students everywhere will have the opportunity to learn more about the Holocaust thanks to a new online educational resource that debuted at United Nations Headquarters and showcases video testimonies of survivors of one of the world`s greatest tragedies. IWitness – produced by the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California – provides teachers and students access to the video testimonies of more than 1,000 Holocaust eyewitnesses from the Institute`s archive of nearly 52,000 testimonies.
Remember Me project tries to identify 1,100 Holocaust kids: Martin Hecht recently discovered his real date of birth
Martin Hecht turns 80 on December 10. This date has a special meaning for him: Until recently his birthday was marked on a different date – March 2, 1931. He pulled this random date out of his head in 1945, when he was asked for his personal details before boarding a ship from Germany to Southampton as part of a group of orphaned children who survived the Holocaust. "Britain`s condition was 1,000 orphans under the age of 16. I was a little boy who survived the camps, I had no idea when I was born, so I made up a date. Thanks to the Romanian archives, I recently discovered my real date of birth. The Germans were very organized. I was documented in every camp I was sent to during the Holocaust. The Holocaust Museum collected all that information and handed it to me."
World`s oldest known Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer turns 108: "Nazis were only human"
Alice Herz-Sommer, a Czech-born survivor of the Nazi`s "show camp" at Terezín and talented pianist, attributes her longevity to optimism as she turns 108. Herz-Sommer still maintains that the Nazis were "only human." She recalls how a Nazi named Hermann - who had occupied the apartment above hers - came calling bearing baked goodies on the evening before she and her family were sent to the camp, and said: "Mrs. Sommer, I see you are going away. I don`t know what to tell you. In any case, I hope you will come back. What I know ... what I want to tell you is that ... I admire your playing ... hours and hours, the patience and the beauty of the music ... I thank you."
Holocaust survivor Philip Bialowitz recalls rebellion at the Sobibor extermination camp
Standing in SMU`s McCord Auditorium, Holocaust survivor Philip Bialowitz recounts the events that lead to the 1943 uprising at the Sobibór death camp. The story takes the audience to a forest in eastern Poland where 250,000 people were killed by the Nazis - a majority of the people brought to Sobibór were murdered on arrival via gas chambers. Of the 600 prisoners at Sobibór, on Oct. 14, 1943, 48 people successfully escaped. Eight are alive today.
Holocaust survivor Walter Ziffer: After living under the Poles we welcomed the Nazis
Born in 1927, Walter Ziffer grew up in what is now the Czech Republic; as part of the turmoil that spawned WWII, his hometown was later annexed by Poland. Ziffer said Jewish children suffered under the Poles, even being degraded by teachers. "When the war started and the Polish army was driven from our town, we almost welcomed the Nazis. How could it be any worse than the treatment we received at the hands of the Poles?" Ziffer quickly found that hope misplaced, as the next 4 years of his life was an endless series of slave camps: "They gave us black `coffee` in the morning, but it was some other bitter substitute for coffee. At lunch, we would receive lukewarm soup that had a few potato and beet peels floating on top. At night, we usually received 11 or 12 ounces of heavy bread."
Lilo Basch Heller saw the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, escaped to Indonesia only to end up in Japanese prison camps
Lilo Basch Heller saw the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, together with her middle-class Jewish family. She escaped to Indonesia only to end up in Japanese prison camps. In her preface to her new memoir, "Lilo Speaks", Heller writes: "65 years ago, in 1945, Germany and Japan surrendered and World War II ended. Its history has not ... Our stories must be heard and remembered. Today I continue to long for peace in this troubled world."
Aging survivors give up precious Holocaust memorabilia and relics
Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev said the campaign to collect memorabilia - like letters, photographs, and toys - before Holocaust survivors died was "a kind of race against time so that they will be remembered". Recent attempts to deny the Holocaust, particularly by Iran, have refocused Israeli efforts to collect survivors` testimonies and relics.
"Imagine if we had six million testimonies, it would stand for ever against all the Holocaust deniers... practically any new testimony or artifact adds something to this process."
Holocaust survivor Magda Brown tells her story: Think before you hate
Holocaust survivor Magda Brown will never forget the time in 1944 when her community in Miskolc, Hungary, was transformed into a ghetto - it was the beginning of a horrendous journey for her. On June 11, 1944, Brown was packed into a cattle car with more than 80 other people. After three days of standing with no food, no water, and no idea where they were going, the train stopped at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
"My mission is to stand up to anyone who doubts the Holocaust and speak the truth. There are two things to keep in mind. One, protect your freedom. The other message, think before you hate."
Holocaust survivor Arnost Lustig pulled through three Nazi camps
Arnost Lustig, a Czech-born fiction writer who drew on his experience as the survivor of three German concentration camps (Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Buchenwald) to depict life during the Holocaust, has passed away at 84. He was on the way to a likely death at Dachau, when an Allied bomber strafed his train and he managed to run away.
Holocaust survivor Eva Lassman passes away at 91
Eva Lassman (born Eva Bialogrod), a Holocaust survivor who worked actively against hatred and racism, has passed away at 91. After the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland she fled from Lodz to Warsaw and held out there with other Jews for 3 years. She was seized by the Nazis after the failed uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 and sent to the Majdanek death camp.
"They took everything from us. I could not take my ring off of my swollen finger. They cut it off with pliers. The air smelled of burning flesh. It was a scene that no human being should ever have to witness."
The Witness House: Nazis and Holocaust Survivors Sharing a Villa During the Nuremberg Trials
In 1945, a private home in Germany became a temporary residence for one of the most bizarre groups of guests in history: a mix of Nazi Party officials and Holocaust survivors, called as witnesses in the Nuremberg Trials. In "The Witness House" journalist Christiane Kohl writes: "It was obviously a place of opposites: pain and joy, laughter and tears, bitterness and arrogance."
Holocaust survivor Philip Riteman - Nazi slave number 98,706 - on book tour
Philip Riteman recently spoke at Memorial University`s St. John`s campus, frequently pausing to cry: "Doctors, lawyers, professors - the Nazis didn`t need them. You think you know what fear is, you have no idea, and I hope you never will know." Riteman, the only Holocaust survivor of his large family, is the author of "Millions Of Souls: The Philip Riteman Story."
Meet the last 2 survivors from Treblinka extermination camp, where 875,000 Jews were killed
They are thought to be the last two survivors of the most efficient killing machine of the Holocaust: the Treblinka extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Along with the lesser known Belzec and Sobibor camps, Treblinka was set up only for one purpose: exterminating people. Samuel Willenberg and Kalman Taigman are spending their last years to campaign to preserve the memory of the 875,000 people - almost all of them Jews - systematically killed in a 1-year killing spree 1942-1943. Only 67 people are known to have survived Treblinka, escaping in a revolt just before the extermination camp was destroyed.
Holocaust survivors have PTSD, mental illness, but normal cognitive functioning and physical health
The suffering experienced by Holocaust survivors leaves psychological scars but have little effect on their cognitive functioning and physical health, according to a new study. Holocaust survivors living in Israel have better psychological health than those living in other countries. The analysis revealed that Holocaust survivors had poorer psychological well-being, more symptoms of post-traumatic stress and more symptoms of mental illness. There were no major differences in cognitive functioning or physical health between survivors and control groups.
A ´good morning` saved one Jew from the gas chamber
A rabbi lived in Danzig in the late 1930s. During his daily walk he greeted every person - even a rather unfriendly Polish Volksdeutche named Muller. Then world war II began, and the rabbi was sent to Auschwitz. Herded off the cattle train and, wearing a striped uniform, he stood in the selection line. A man in an SS uniform sat at a desk and pointed each Jew in a direction: "Right! Left!" Right was life, left was death. The rabbi saw the SS officer, and said: "Gutmorgen, Herr Muller." The officer looked up. A faint smile was visible under the skull and bones cap. "Gutmorgen, Herr Rabbiner." The hand pointed right. The rabbi lived to tell the story.
The orphans who survived the Nazi concentration camps and death marches
When World War 2 ended in 1945, most of the adults and children in the Nazi camps were eventually able to make their way home and begin rebuilding their lives. But hundreds of the orphans who had survived the concentration camps and death marches had no home to travel back to. British Jews persuaded the British government to offer homes to 1,000 children under the age of 16. The first 300 orphans, including Jack Aizenberg and Minia Munter, boarded the RAF`s Stirling Squadron in August 1945, bound for the Windermere, in Cumbria. Two of the orphan survivors have talked about their war and postwar experiences.
Hungry Soviet liberators ate horse meat and threw bones to the survivors - Children recall Auschwitz liberation
On Jan. 17, 1945 - 10 days before the Red Army liberated the camp - the Nazis forced 60,000 inmates into the Death March. "I was too weak to go," says Kazimiera Wasiak, one of the 7,000 people left to die. She remembers a Soviet recon unit entering the camp before Jan 27, when the arrival of the Red Army front marked the camp`s liberation. "They were... very hungry. The troops set up a field kitchen... They were eating horse meat and we, like dogs, begged them to give us a little and they `played` with us, throwing the bones... We fetched them and chewed them," Wasiak recalls, holding back tears.
Only 82 people survived the Nazi death factory camps - Thomas Blatt is one of them
Thomas Blatt is one of the last people alive to have survived the Nazi extermination camps. And he still has a bullet in his jaw to show for it. His tasks in Sobibor ranged from polishing SS men`s boots to shaving the naked women before they were driven up the "Himmelfahrtstrasse" towards the gas chambers. "When a transport arrived, an SS man would hold a speech. He would apologise for the arduous journey, and said that for hygienic reasons, everyone needed to shower... later they would be given work. Some of the new arrivals applauded... They were all murdered in the gas chambers within the hour."
Oral histories of Wisconsin`s Holocaust survivors - Transcripts, audio recordings and pics
Wisconsin Historical Society archivists interviewed 22 Holocaust survivors and two American witnesses 1974-1981. These oral histories are now available digitally and in their entirety for the first time, uncensored and unfiltered - on the Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust website. Each oral history presents an eyewitness account of an odyssey through the Holocaust with the full biography, transcript, audio recordings and pictures.
Isa Vermehren was one of the first Germans to give inside view of Nazi camps after WWII
Isa Vermehren, a German entertainer who wrote one of the first post-war accounts of the horrors of the Nazi camps, has passed away at 91. Vermehren, a singer and accordionist at a Berlin nightclub before the start of World War II, was sent into Ravensbrueck concentration camp after her diplomat brother Erich Vermehren defected to UK with secrets in 1944. Her 1946 book "A Voyage through the Last Act" described the humiliations and executions in the camps to readers who were still not willing to believe the Nazis had been evil. Vermehren had performed at Katakombe, a Berlin club where the performances satirized the Nazis. The Gestapo closed it early in the War.
Josef Mengele`s delivery girl recounts her tale in "Until the Last Generation"
In a new book "Leman Yeduo Dor Acharon" (Until the Last Generation), Leah London Friedler tells about her experiences as a delivery girl in Dr. Josef Mengele`s clinic. After years of silence, she reveals names and dates which she remembers amazingly well, and delivers the vivid message about what went on during that period. In June 1944 Leah was sent to Auschwitz, where at the age of 16 she "became a number" and received a "sought after" position as a delivery girl in the clinic of Dr. Mengele (known as the Angel of Death). All proceeds from the book will go to special needs children.
Holocaust survivor Elane Geller tells hers story to students
Elane Geller stole whatever she could get her hands on, like toothpaste, to avoid starving to death. She drank urine when her thirst became unbearable. Every day she looked through the barbed wire at the piles of rotting bodies and wondered when hers would be among them. "It was an accident. I escaped the gas chamber by accident." Her aunt Rose Pertzes took danger into her bosom when she told Nazi officials Elane was her daughter, because kids were daily being taken from their parents - and gassed at separate times. She slept with 3-5 other people on wooden beds 3 feet wide. "We didn`t sleep because we couldn`t lay down. We were there in piles."
Survivor Wanda Poltawska recalls Nazi medical experiments
Wanda Poltawska, author of "And I am afraid of my dreams," was sent to a concentration camp in Ravensbruck when she was 20 years old, because of her links with the Polish resistance groups. She began writing down her memories as soon as she left the Nazi camp, where she stayed for almost 4 years. She felt the need to write, as the memories of the camp did not leave her in peace day or night. After finishing her "diary" she finally managed to sleep without nightmares. In those 4 years Wanda was subject to psuedo-medical experiments, designed to mutilate the people.
From young Holocaust survivor to judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague
Before Thomas Buergenthal turned his childhood experiences in Nazi camps into a book, he made them the basis of a life`s work in human rights: He is a judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. In "A Lucky Child" he recalls slipping away and hide in the Auschwitz barracks between the head count and the selection: "I had to disappear without being seen by the SS or the barrack boss." When he was selected, his liquidation was delayed because the SS said the group was too small to fire up the crematoriums. One morning he woke up to find that the SS had taken all the others to the ovens. A Polish doctor, who liked him, had altered his paperwork.
Trip to Terezin - Wittman Tours employs Holocaust survivors as tour guides
The man in the front seat turns to us solemnly and looks us each in the eye: "Hello, My name is Pavel Stransky, and I am a survivor." Nobody says a word. To answer seems somehow inadequate. For some trips Wittman Tours, a Prague-based company that offers tours of the city, hires Holocaust survivors as tour guides. Along the tour Stransky tells us stories: "There is where they shot Reinhard Heydrich." And he points to a bend in the road - All 8 of us turn as if we expect to see the former top Nazi and the Czech assassins. Stransky knows when to allow us to make our discoveries from memorabilia and when to share his facts and memories.
Erwin David survived 7 Nazi death camps
When 18yo Erwin David arrived at Auschwitz, he and 2,500 other persons were beaten into single file to await their fate. At the end of the line an SS officer, wearing a white coat over his SS uniform, asked each man his age and occupation, then directed them to the left or to the right. Erwin`s reply, radiotechnician, meant he was sent to the left - saving his life. The German officer, Josef Mengele, was picking out skilled labourers for camps in the area. "We were registered, had our heads shaven, stripped of our outer clothing and issued striped pyjamas, flannel overcoat, both with yellow stars, and cap."
Miraculous Holocaust survivor story of Dovid Landau
Dovid Landau set up a prospering dental practice in Piaskes, Poland, but it all came to an end with Nazi Germany`s invasion in 1939. Dovid used his friendships with his Nazi patients to ensure an easier life for his brethren. But the day came when he could no longer influence events. 3 Jews had been arrested for some minor violation and were to be hanged. The Nazi commander looked at the Jews, ordered to witness the hanging, and picked Dovid Landau. "You! Step up! Put the nooses around the necks of these Jews!" Dovid refused and the Commander ordered 2 German soldiers to take Dovid into the forest and shoot him - luckily both soldiers were his patients.
Holocaust haunts survivors: nursing home`s uniforms, shower rooms can worsen flashbacks
Almost every night, Martin Hornung`s nightmare unfolds to the same haunting strains... of Auschwitz. "I`m almost afraid to go to sleep." He wouldn`t even think moving into a nursing home: "I would kill myself." The horrors that revisit Hornung are common among survivors, and are a reason why he refuses to enter a nursing home. In such facilities the surroundings (strangers in uniforms, desolate shower rooms) can worsen flashbacks. "It frightens them and brings them back to the Holocaust," said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, of Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service, one of the groups helping keep survivors out of nursing homes.
Felix Kestenberg survived 8 concentration camps and 2 death marches
Felix Kestenberg, who outlasted 8 concentration camps and two death marches during World War Two, died aged 86. During the Nazi horror, he lost 3 elder siblings and his father. In 1939, when the Germans occupied Poland, he was sent to a labor camp working on the fortification of the border with Russia. Kestenberg was later sent to Auschwitz, Maidanek and Dachau. "Maidanek is the first camp in which I realized what will happen to the Jews in Europe." At Auschwitz his left arm was tattooed with the number: "Here we lost our identity and became a number. I became B-2369." At Dachau "We could not believe what faced us. Corpses piled up. The crematories could not keep up."
Huge profits, of which not all goes to survivors, casts shadow over Holocaust group
Through the sale of property Nazis seized from Jews in eastern Germany, the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC) has made a profit of 1.5 billion euros. But not all of that money has been given to Holocaust survivors. Criticism of the powerful organization is raising and many, like the Israeli government and parliament, are calling for greater transparency. Around the globe, the descendants of Holocaust victims feel unfairly treated by the JCC, an umbrella association for Jewish organizations. They accuse it of collecting compensation and restitution funds, but not distributing them to victims.
Margot DeWilde survived "Deadly Medicine" of the final solution
A visitor wonders how Margot DeWilde can sit so comfortably as she explains her part in the greatest horror story of the 20th century. "When we were there, a group of young men came and tattooed the numbers on our arms," she tells, pushing up her sleeve. The softened numbers of old ink are blue beneath her skin. "People became a number and not a person anymore." The ugly marks of Auschwitz have been seen before, but it is not so much what was put on her as what was taken away: Margot was sterilized. "I`m a fatalist. It happened. I always wanted 6 kids. So, now I had to do with doggies."
Holocaust survivor will revisit the 77-mile-long cave that hid family (Article no longer available from the original source)
The depths of a Ukrainian cave shielded Yetta Katz from almost certain death during the Holocaust. She spent 344 days - from May 5, 1943, to April 12, 1944 - in the dank space cooking meager meals of potato soup. In May Katz is set to travel back to the Ukraine and Priest`s Grotto, the 77-mile-long cave where her family and a few others lived out the war, as part of a film documentary. ... After killings began some families searched for a place to conceal them. A local hunter told a fox had run into a hole and there might be a spot to hide. They came upon a spot of earth and began to dig. It turned out to be Priest`s Grotto, one of the largest caverns in the world.
Hitler, Stalin, jails, hunger - I survived them all
Sara Zarkin-Epstein is a graduate of 3 clandestine wars. The first was to save Jews from the Kovna Ghetto in Lithuania during WWII, the second was vengeance by Jewish on Nazi criminals, and the third was part of Zionist activity to bring illegal immigrants to Palestine. Then came the long years in Siberia. "Hitler," she shouts in Yiddish and stamps her cane, "Stalin, he was no better, and I survived both." --- The Soviets were back in power in Lithuania, opposed by nationalist partisans, many Nazi collaborators. Sara joined a small group with plans for payback. She refuses to go into detail, except to say that she was of Aryan appearance and gathered information.
One of most prominent Holocaust survivors, Anja Lundholm dies at 89
One of Germany’s most prominent Holocaust survivors Anja Lundholm, whose books recounted the horrors she experienced in a Nazi camp, has died aged 89. She published a series of books about her time at the Ravensbrueck women’s concentration camp, including her memoir "Hoellentor" ("Hell’s Gate"). She fled Nazi Germany for Italy with a fake passport in 1941 and joined the anti-fascist resistance there. In 1943, 6 months after the birth of her daughter, Lundholm was denounced by her SS officer father and arrested. She was sent to Ravensbrueck, where she became a slave labourer in degrading conditions - made vivid in her books.
Holocaust survivors’ children sue over psychological damage
Thousands of persons whose parents were persecuted in the Holocaust have filed a joint lawsuit against Germany to force it to pay for psychiatric treatment for problems arising from their childhoods. Many have obsessions inherited from parents who spent years in camps, including stockpiling food, eating disorders and fear of dogs, said lawyer Baruch Mazor. Many of the survivors’ children have had difficulty forming relationships and worry that their psychological problems may be passed on to their own children. There are 400,000 people living in Israel whose parents were victims of the Nazi regime.
Buchenwald Survivors Warn of Fascism, call banning neo-Nazi NPD
Attempts to honor the victims of Nazi crimes were being overshadowed by the global spread of wars, nationalism and racism, said Buchenwald committee president Bertrand Herz. He was speaking at a 70th anniversary ceremony of the construction of the largest concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Elderly survivors, one of them an Ukrainian prisoner who came dressed in a striped blue and white camp uniform, laid wreaths at the former camp. "In 1945, we never dreamed that today in Germany there would again be right-wing forces that would be allowed to demonstrate in our cities," Ottomar Rothmann said, urging politicians to do all they can "to ban the neo-Nazi NPD."
Files Show Postwar Woes of Nazi Victims
For the living skeletons who survived the Nazi terror, the Displaced Persons camp offered little relief. A bleak picture springs from reports by the Allied officers. People still died at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 a day. Corpses were stacked in front of barracks, to be carted away by captured SS guards. When the Third Reich surrendered in May 1945, 8 million people were left uprooted. Far from scenes of joyful liberation, the files reveal loss, and often insensitive military authorities. Many had nowhere to go. Those who wanted to get to Palestine were shut out by a British ban. Food was still scarce often just coffee and wet black bread.
Cancer risk over twice as great for death camp survivors
The first comprehensive study of the incidence of cancer among Holocaust survivors has shown that they were found to be 2.4 times more likely to have cancer. Cancer of the large intestine among male Holocaust survivors was found to be 9 times that of men the same age who immigrated from Europe before World War II. The team found that the younger the survivor was during the war, the greater their risk. "The exposure to starvation and malnutrition during childhood and adolescence, when the body is in a period of accelerated growth, was found to amplify the risk..."
Prominent death camp survivor accused of collaborating with Nazis
A Holocaust-survivor Rudolf Schwarz - one of Britain’s most famous orchestra conductors - has been accused of being a Nazi sympathiser, in an academic study which has left his family devastated. The paper, by Dr Charlotte Exon, accused Schwarz of being "Hitler’s willing victim," alleging he "sympathised and collaborated with the Nazi regime". She also claimed Schwarz "like the majority of Germans... undoubtedly welcomed Hitler as the nation’s answer to the political and economic chaos" and chose to live in Nazi Germany under Nazi rule instead of trying to leave. The analysis that he initially backed the Nazis has created fury.
Kindertransport - Refugee effort that rescued 10,000 children
At 16, Alfred Batzdorff was the oldest male in Breslau apartment when Nazi storm troopers knocked on Nov. 10, 1938. It was the second night of the Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht (night of broken glass), when Nazis torched 267 synagogues, killed 100 people and took 30,000 into custody. Driven at gunpoint he narrowly avoided a train bound for the Buchenwald, where Gestapo sent hundreds of other captives. Instead, he hid among WWI veterans who were spared that trip. Warned upon release to flee the country, he in December 1938 became one of the first to escape Germany through the Kindertransport, a British refugee effort that rescued 10,000 children by train.
Holocaust Survivors Grow Poorer in Israel
When Gizela Burg arrived in Israel after making it out of four Nazi concentration camps alive, she thought her problems of survival were behind her. But now she can no longer afford to pay her growing medical bills. Burg is among about 90,000 Holocaust survivors a third of the total in Israel who live in poverty, according to official figures. For the childless widow, her inability to fix her television -- while television and radio stations broadcast the stories of survivors -- or afford a taxi meant she was spending annual remembrance day alone and in silence.
I survived horrors of the Holocaust (Article no longer available from the original source)
"You stinking Jew!" shouted an SS soldier, pointing his rifle at Jack Kagan. Jack, just 13 at the time, was among the 1,500 Jews held in a Polish ghetto by German troops under Hitler`s reign during the Second World War. "My knees were shivering," he says. "I was lined up with about 50 others and a machine gun was assembled. I thought that was the end of it.