I hear a gentleman speak with the French accent. And then I said to my trainer, ‘I'm not Jewish.’ I denied it, and that's when I realized that when you had a child, you had to go to the City Hall and register the child and put the religion next to it. I wanted to be a gymnast and be competing in the Olympics. But I was so happy to be alive. There was no indoor plumbing, there was no electricity, my mother had to go every day to the farmers’ market, purchase the food, prepare the food for six children, also make a living. The Nazis established Auschwitz in 1940 in the Polish suburbs of Oswiecim, building a complex of camps that became central to Hitler’s pursuit of a “Final Solutionto the Jewish question.” Nazis murdered between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people at Auschwitz, including more than one million Jews, but also Roma (gypsies), homosexuals, political dissidents and more. I was in a very bad state, I was already among the dead, and then I looked up. If you were just for the me, me, me, you never made it. In the springtime I used to work in a vineyard, cultivate the growth of the grapes, in the fall we used to harvest the grapes. “We looked back and we saw our mother with her spotted scarf, and we waved to her and we went ahead,” Mindu said. ‘ItStartedWithWords’ is a digital, Holocaust education campaign posting weekly videos of survivors from across the world reflecting on those moments that led up to the Holocaust. On June 7, 1944, my 17th birthday, we were transported by cattle car, along with hundreds of others, to Auschwitz. The whole city was like Napa Valley. When I arrived to the crematorium, the prisoner who worked there discovered that I was still alive. “You better do as this man says,” her mother said. The Museum’s YouTube channel includes educational films, documentaries, programs held at the Museum, survivor testimony, and more. Browse selected videos and playlists below. We will have areas devoted to the issues that you feel are important. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. I was age of 21. Thirteen holocaust survivors share their deeply personal stories of the harrowing experiences they faced while in the largest German Nazi concentration camp and extermination center, Auschwitz. Holocaust survivor interviews won’t be possible forever, with many Auschwitz survivors now in their late 80s. I wanted to get some fresh air. For young girls like ourselves, possibly even our mother [hadn't seen] us undressed. I also discovered the best revenge in life is success. We were freezing, we had very little food to eat. When the children were separated at the border, I had very, very, very many nightmares, and I still do. These included injecting serum directly into children’s eyeballs to study eye color and injecting chloroform into the hearts of twins to determine if the siblings would die at the same time and in the same way. But some managed to survive, at times because they hid with their families, because … Unfortunately my graduation present became Birkenau Auschwitz. Horrors of Auschwitz: The Numbers Behind WWII's Deadliest Concentration Camp, The Jewish Men Forced to Help Run Auschwitz, This Midwife at Auschwitz Delivered 3,000 Babies in Unfathomable Conditions, How the Nazis Tried to Cover Up Their Crimes at Auschwitz. I just wanted to die. Through the Museum’s First Person program, Holocaust survivors have the opportunity to share their remarkable personal stories of hope, tragedy, and survival with thousands of visitors. I don't believe that the world learned the lessons from the Holocaust. The British saw a train moving with machine guns on either side, thinking they've got some valuable cargo, they shot our train up. I was put among the dead people. They marched us into shower rooms to be deloused. Mindu Hornick was awarded an MBE in December 2019 for her two decades of work as a Holocaust educator teaching about the dangers of intolerance and hatred. “She says, ‘I don't know where it is, I've never heard of the place.’ And then suddenly all this clatter of the doors opening, and when the doors opened I mean there was, just, all hell let loose.”. My mother kept Kosher, and she made her challah that was an art piece, and I visualized that in Auschwitz, my mother doing the challah, and mak[ing] her noodles. Suddenly the Germans got very, very impatient and they collected us all and put us on a train, and it was the first time we went on a passenger train and [at] either end of the train there were machine guns. We stood at the end of the line, with my mum in the middle, Magda [my sister] and I. The Museum’s Behind Every Name a Story project gives voice to the experiences of survivors during the Holocaust.. JAKOB'S STORY. “Simply because in a few short years, (Holocaust survivors) will not be here any longer to give a firsthand account. I think he picked up a potato skin or something. She never saw her mother or little brothers again. The clip was posted on the film's Facebook page and has received over 450,000 shares and over 7,000 comments from people who have been moved by the story. Holocaust holograms: how survivors' stories live on through new technology The process starts on a Monday morning and goes straight through until Friday afternoon. I was the age of 22 and I came to [the United States] with one pair of shoes and shirt and slacks, and I was determined to make a success out of my life and that's what I did. She is currently writing her second book The Gift and Twelve Lessons from Hell. The Nazis established Auschwitz in 1940 in the Polish suburbs of Oswiecim, building a complex of camps that became central to Hitler’s pursuit of a “Final Solution to the Jewish question.” Nazis murdered between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people at Auschwitz, including more than one million Jews, but also Roma, homosexuals, political dissidents and more. I graduated age of 18 from a gymnasium [an advanced secondary school]. We encourage all survivors to share their unique experiences to ensure their preservation for future generations. We had to sit all night on the stone floor. “And that's why he must have looked in that coach and thought to himself, ‘well perhaps I'll try and save a couple.’”. Holocaust survivors bring their stories to social media to fight anti-Semitism News. Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer's CEO, comes from a family of Sephardic Greek Holocaust survivors from Thessaloniki. We were a family of inmates, we had to care for each other. We were stripped from every inch of human dignity. And that was the most important thing for me: to belong again. When we took a shower, we didn’t know whether gas is coming out of the water. I mean, we were just frightened out of our wits. In January 1945, Soviet soldiers liberated the camp to find 7,600 emaciated prisoners left behind, heaps of corpses and seven tons of human hair that had been shaved off the prisoners. Men and women were immediately separated. My father was taken away from us. I spent a lot of time with my mom because my father played billiards, and so she took me to the opera and she introduced me to Gone with the Wind. The town that I grew up in was part of Czechoslovakia until 1938, when it became part of Hungary. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Have I ever found an explanation? In 1945, Eddie was sent on a ‘death march’ but once again escaped and hid in a forest eating slugs and snails until June 1945 he was finally rescued by.Eddie has volunteered at the Sydney Jewish Museum since it’s inception in 1992. This is the Lydia’s incredible story. “You are a seamstress,” he told them. They carried me outside. I wanna go forward, I wanna enjoy every day of my life. [The Nazis] must have used a gas, a small amount, because they didn't look normal. People [were] dying left and right from hunger. Whenever there was a hanging, we were all called out to watch it, and I remember us shouting, ‘For God's sake, where is God?’ A young boy hung because he picked some bit of food up. As prisoners arrived, young children, the elderly and infirm were se… Survivors of Auschwitz on the day of liberation. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. I constantly was hallucinating about food. That's what gave me the strength to want to survive—and also to tell the world what was happening. Children, especially twins, could be selected at any time for barbaric medical experiments conducted without anesthesia by Nazi Josef Mengele. But I'm glad I did not...because I was able to somehow turn all the tragedy into an opportunity for me to now, not only survive, but also to guide other people to be survivors as well. They had traveled for days in the dark, 70 women and children packed shoulder to shoulder in a cattle car, with little food and a single sanitation bucket to share. Once a day you got a bowl of soup—they called it soup, I don't know what it was, it wasn’t fit for an animal. I was told at a very young age that I am a very talented gymnast. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx We were completely shaven, and then we were in our nakedness, and my sister asked me, ‘How do I look?’ You know, Hungarian women can be quite vain, and, and I had a choice...realizing that I became her mirror, and I said to her, ‘You know Magda, you have such beautiful eyes, and I didn't see it when you had your hair all over the place.’. He saved my life. If you were feeling pale, or whatever, you weren't feeling right…you would prick your finger to draw some blood and make yourself rosy cheeks. I could not stand up well on my feet. I don't know what was the purpose of it because nobody could escape—the barracks were surrounded by barbed wire, the barbed wire was connected to electricity and every morning in front of the barracks was piled up naked dead people. We had a lovely home and an orchard and we had nice relations with our neighbors and our school friends, which were not always Jewish. We had to sit there naked for men shaving our heads. No utensils. We didn't know where the smoke was coming from, but we found out soon enough—the smoke was coming from the crematorium. Very often we would see Doctor Mengele walking along, looking very smart in shiny boots and always immaculately dressed, and he would wear a pair of white leather gloves. I lived in a town called Maków Mazowiecki, about 80 km from Warsaw. We were suddenly told to pack our luggage and be ready to come to the station. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Meet Holocaust Survivors Share Holocaust survivors have volunteered at the Museum on a regular basis across the institution—engaging with visitors, sharing their personal histories, serving as tour guides, translating historic materials, and more, since the Museum opened. I look forward to hearing from you. Each year, during the official Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day ceremony that takes place at Yad Vashem, six torches, representing the six million Jews, are lit by Holocaust survivors and short films depicting the stories of the survivors are shown as each torch is lit. The invasion of Poland brought with it the creation of forced labor camps and ghettos; with tremendous persecution against Jews. Our heads shaven and then we were going in to be tattooed with a number and, from then on, we had no name, that was it. READ MORE: How the Nazis Tried to Cover Up Their Crimes at Auschwitz. We invite your participation; this is your Web page.Visit Abe’s Story and learn how Joey Korn presents his father’s story to students. When I opened my eyes, I thought I was in a five-star hotel. At dawn Nazi soldiers burst in, Eddie was beaten and taken to Buchenwald.Eddie was released and with his father escaped to Belgium and then France, but was again captured and sent to a camp, and thereafter to Auschwitz. These stories suggest that this intolerance toward Holocaust survivors persisted even after the Eichmann trials. Estimates suggest that Nazis murdered 85% of the people sent to Auschwitz. My aunt, my mother's sister...heard that our transport came in, so she came to find us, Auntie Berthe. There [were] no windows on the cattle car. Most of the children were bitterly crying, didn't want to be separated from their mother, so the young mothers went to the left, to the gas chamber. Five to six people have to share it, so we handed it [from] mouth to mouth, back and forth until the soup disappeared. Joseph Alexander, 96, a slight man with a Polish accent, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, spoke on a sunny Sunday to a rapt crowd of about 30 at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. When the sliding doors slammed closed on us, the only light came through the wooden cracks. So when people tell me I overcame, no, I never overcame, and I never forgot. In Auschwitz you couldn't fight, because if you touched the guard you were shot—right in front of me I saw that. Daily mass executions, starvation, disease and torture transformed Auschwitz into one of the most lethal and terrifying concentration camps and extermination centers of World War II. He told Mindu and her sister to lie about their age and skills. [Later, during one of several death marches] when you stopped you were shot right away, and I was about to stop. There were the barking dogs, viciously walking around, there were loudspeakers always and these SS men walking around, with shiny boots and guns on their back. Who they wanted to stay alive, go to the right; who was condemned to die, go to the left. I was born in 1925 in Satu Mare, which was in Romania at that time but in 1940, became part of Hungary.We were four in our family: my mother, father, and one sister, Olga, who also survived and is still living. Now they saw piles of rotting bodies, barking dogs, Nazis shouting in German, thick gray ash clotting the air. He advised Hornick’s mother to let her two older girls go ahead, while she stayed behind with her younger two sons. You, the students, it is your generation that is the very last generation that will hear these stories firsthand. I really did not know what happened to us in those last hours [before] liberation. We weren't allowed to say a word...we'd be murdered immediately. All I could tell you [was] that it was quite dark, I saw just kind of darkness, and we didn't know who's alive and who's not alive. Once we got through all that routine, we were taken to block 14. In this beautiful and moving talk, the self proclaimed \"happiest man on earth\", Eddie Jaku shares his story of love and survival at TEDxSydney 2019. You can't hate your enemies, as I said, because when you hate you're not living. Here are the stories of three who survived. In this beautiful and moving talk, the self proclaimed "happiest man on earth", Eddie Jaku shares his story of love and survival at TEDxSydney 2019. It was night, and by that time there was no room for us. Posted: Apr 8, 2021 … About 60 or 70 of our girls were killed by the British Armada. Share on Twitter; Share on Facebook; Share on Reddit I was told by my trainer that ‘I have to train someone else who is not Jewish,’ and that was to me the biggest shock of my life because I spent at least five hours a day training, training, training. [As the Allies approached, the Nazis evacuated Harvey and other prisoners to Buchenwald by cattle car.] In a clip from the documentary film, "HUMAN," 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Francine Christophe tells how she reaped a priceless reward for a small act of kindness as a child, decades later. No, I haven't. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. I haven't. You’ll see them soon, he assured her in Yiddish. Holocaust child survivor shares her story of death, life. ], READ MORE: Horrors of Auschwitz: The Numbers Behind WWII's Deadliest Concentration Camp. by: The Associated Press, Nexstar Media Wire. He remembers their story. I danced for Doctor Mengele and he gave me a piece of bread. His businesses were confiscated, and honestly I don't know how our mother fed us. Every morning, four o'clock, they knocked on the door [for] roll call. I woke up in the barrack. We passed by where the [women were]...my mother, my aunt, my cousins and their children all were naked as we glanced in, and they looked like they were in a trance. We were taken to a ghetto first. There were bodies everywhere, and there were these watch towers with machine guns pointing at us...this terrible grey ash falling around us. He currently speaks regularly at the Museum of Tolerance and other venues to share his experiences. While the execution of this Nazi war criminal revived public awareness of the importance of the Holocaust in the creation of the Jewish State, it failed to inspire sympathy for the outward mourning of Holocaust survivors. [My father was injured in World War I] so my mother became the sole supporter of the family. [Once we were forced to wear Jewish stars] that was terrible, suddenly we were singled out. I was frozen. We were [in the ghetto] for six weeks under terrible sanitation conditions. He didn’t listen to me. When they died, we took their clothes off to try to keep warmer. My city was called Berehove, population was approximately 26,000. The Museum’s Behind Every Name a Story project gives voice to the experiences of survivors during the Holocaust.. IRENE’S STORY. He saw death every day throughout WWII, and because he survived, he made a vow to himself to smile every day. One day the train arrived...they pushed into one cattle car as many people they possibly can—so that we were crushed like sardines. Nobody was beating me. Listen to HISTORY This Week Podcast: January 27, 1945: "Surviving Auschwitz". On route, Eddie managed to escape back to Belgium where he lived in hiding with his parents and sister.In October 1943, Eddie’s family were arrested and again sent to Auschwitz where his parents were both murdered. I saw tears in the eyes, and M&Ms in [his] hand. Edith Eger earned her doctorate in psychology at the University of Texas, El Paso, and works as a clinical psychologist, helping survivors of trauma, including veterans. The people on this list are or were survivors of Nazi Germany's attempt to exterminate the Jews in Europe before and during World War II.A state-enforced persecution of Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe lasted from the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935 to Hitler's defeat in 1945. When people say, how did you survive? “I spelt it out for my mother,” Hornick recalled recently. They were burning—burning between 12,000 and 13,000 people a day. When we first glanced out, it looked like a twilight zone, big chimneys going to the sky, smoke was going all over. When we arrived back to Buchenwald, they came to collect all the dead people from the cattle car to transport them to the crematorium. His story of survival spans 12 years, from Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 until liberation in 1945. I think now it was a miracle that we weren't killed on that train, either by the British or the Germans, who tried to...kill us in the last moment. "You'll never forget that moment; the sounds from the barracks. But if you want to remain normal, and you want to not end up on psychiatrist couches, or something like that, you have to drift back into a life, join a community and be part of it because...when you were brought up in a community, you want to belong again. We jumped out of the train and started waving. We lived for each other. She works with the Holocaust Memorial Trust and the Anne Frank Trust. You couldn't flee because if you touched the barbed wires, you were electrocuted. I weighed 72 pounds. Holocaust Survivor’s Story to be Shared in Duquesne University Documentary August 25, 2011 As 83-year-old Holocaust survivor Howard Chandler returned to his hometown in Poland and visited the concentration camps where he was imprisoned during World War II, a Jewish student and her Catholic professor from Duquesne University captured the story. Here are the stories of three who survived. It was a man. As prisoners arrived, young children, the elderly and infirm were separated and immediately sent to take “showers,” which pumped deadly Zyklon-B poison gas into the chambers. Self-proclaimed as ‘the happiest man on earth’, he saw death every day throughout WWII, and because he managed to survive, made a vow to himself to smile every day.Edie has been married to Flore for 73 years, they have two sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. When I was liberated, I got up in the morning, and I realized that my parents are not coming home, and reality hit me. Watch the documentary Liberators: Why We Fought on HISTORY Vault. It was not a long way from where we were to Auschwitz, but because of railway lines being bombed, [the train] was shunted forward and back...and suddenly we arrived at the place. And if anybody didn't look well, he would wave and they would have to step out of line, and we never saw those people again. I remember a young boy. A Pennsylvania man who claimed for years to have escaped from Auschwitz, met track and field star Jesse Owens and Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, … Life was good. On 9 November 1938, the night immortalised as Kristallnacht, Eddie returned home from boarding school to an empty house. I shared it with everyone. She was a dressmaker, but what I know about her talent today, she was more like a dress designer. We were all shmooshed up, you know, very small, little place, in the cattle car, on the floor, sitting down, and I am crawling to him and asking him to shave. They made us strip completely naked, shaved our hair, gave us a prisoner’s suit to wear. I know that I'm 95, I'm blind, I don't question why that happened to me. This troubles me very deeply. We were still crying for our mother. We were different to school friends, we were different to our neighbors. READ MORE: This Midwife at Auschwitz Delivered 3,000 Babies in Unfathomable Conditions. She did a secret exchange...and took us into her block to take care of us. It's a notorious thing that people in the camps survived in pairs, or some other people that were taking care of them. Eddie Jaku OAM, born Abraham Jakubowicz in Germany in 1920.His family considered themselves German, first, Jewish second. Esther Tzmari is a Holocaust survivor, mother, grandmother, and the founder of a very unique project. Mindu Hornick, 13, peered through a crack in the door of her stopped cattle car and read a name: Auschwitz. Next day, I ask the people to carry me outside. I begged my father to look presentable, to look younger. All Rights Reserved. When I wake up in the morning, I says, “You're not gonna let me down, I have to get up, I have to proceed with my lecture because I help people.” There is nothing greater and there's nothing bigger. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. By Jon Micheal Connor, ASC Public Affairs April 20, 2018. Billy Harvey established a successful career as a celebrity cosmetologist before opening his own beauty salon, working with actresses including Judy Garland, Mary Martin and Zsa Zsa Gabor. My mom hugged me and said, ‘We don't know where we're going, we don't know what's going to happen, just remember no one can take away from you what you put here in your own mind.’. • Stay Connected: Lessons of the Holocaust • Survivors Remember Kristallnacht • Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936 • Jewish Life Before World War II [Comments have been edited for clarity. YouTube. Nobody was hollering at me. I grew up in this shtetl in the Carpathian Mountains. The Museum’s Behind Every Name a Story project gives voice to the experiences of survivors during the Holocaust. We were pushed through to the main gate, and once we entered there we thought we'd entered hell. When I wanted to give up, I said [to myself] what a great lady my mother was, who stood by all the hardship, raising six children, all by herself in such a primitive circumstances. Behind Every Name a Story consists of essays describing survivors’ experiences during the Holocaust, written by survivors or their families. The Children of Holocaust Survivors section will evolve through the participation of its visitors. As many as 1.5 million children were killed in the Holocaust. “I think that a kapo must have known that this train of mothers and children—that were no use to them for work—would end up in the gas chambers,” said Hornick.