A doctor escorts a group of Auschwitz survivors from the camp in January 1945. Although Julian's Polish Catholic parents had immigrated to the United States before World War I, his mother had returned to Poland and Julian was born in a village not far from the large town of Tarnow in southern Poland. Photograph: Heritage Images/Getty Images. READ MORE: This Midwife at Auschwitz Delivered 3,000 Babies in Unfathomable Conditions. We weren't allowed to say a word...we'd be murdered immediately. Polish Victims: Individual Stories. Two years later, my book, The Last Sunrise was completed. I lived with my family in Grodno, Poland, a city of 65,000 inhabitants. 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. 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. I said to God, God, please forgive me for not keeping my promise. She is currently writing her second book The Gift and Twelve Lessons from Hell. 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. The genocide took the lives of three million Polish Jews, half … This is the Lydia’s incredible story. I just wanted to die. We didn't know where the smoke was coming from, but we found out soon enough—the smoke was coming from the crematorium. Within months after the Nazis occupied Grodno, my entire family except for my father, were gassed, burned and vaporized without leaving a trace of their existence. The Holocaust in Poland was part of the European-wide Holocaust and took place within the September 1, 1939, boundaries of Poland, which ceased to exist as a territorial entity after the German and Soviet invasion of Poland. 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. “You are a seamstress,” he told them. I was age of 21. I woke up in the barrack. 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. [As the Allies approached, the Nazis evacuated Harvey and other prisoners to Buchenwald by cattle car.] 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. One day the train arrived...they pushed into one cattle car as many people they possibly can—so that we were crushed like sardines. 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. It was a man. When I was liberated, I got up in the morning, and I realized that my parents are not coming home, and reality hit me. He had been recounting his life as a … For young girls like ourselves, possibly even our mother [hadn't seen] us undressed. Culture and Education . When I arrived to the crematorium, the prisoner who worked there discovered that I was still alive. What is the motivation of people who deny that the Holocaust occurred? “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.”. The Holocaust was the scientifically designed, state-sponsored murder of the Jewish people by Nazi Germany and its allies. On May 8, 1945, when the war ended it was time to keep my promise. Synopsis The Last Sunrise by Harold Gordon. At 13, she survived the Holocaust with the help of a Polish family. But 55 years ago I was a (10) year old boy whose name was Hirshel Grodzienski. UN Photo/Manuel Elias. I remember a young boy. Suddenly and without warning, I heard a call. 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. I was in a very bad state, I was already among the dead, and then I looked up. 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. We were a family of inmates, we had to care for each other. I hear a gentleman speak with the French accent. If you were just for the me, me, me, you never made it. Have I ever found an explanation? 95AD, remember.org. I haven't. All Rights Reserved. Why was I chosen to live. I was getting weaker and weaker, and the girls that I shared the bread with...formed a chair with their arms, and they carried me so I wouldn't die. 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. 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. This troubles me very deeply. How many Nazis can I kill before I die, 10, 100, 1000? You couldn't flee because if you touched the barbed wires, you were electrocuted. I wanted to be a gymnast and be competing in the Olympics. I saw tears in the eyes, and M&Ms in [his] hand. We were different to school friends, we were different to our neighbors. By hearing their stories, we hope you feel inspired to stand up to injustice in your own life. My city was called Berehove, population was approximately 26,000. When 11, her entire family was deported. Remember.org shares art, discussion, photos, poems, and facts to preserve powerful memories. “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. Children, especially twins, could be selected at any time for barbaric medical experiments conducted without anesthesia by Nazi Josef Mengele. Edith Eger, 92, earned her doctorate in psychology at the University of Texas, El Paso, and works as a clinical psychologist, helping survivors of trauma, including veterans. Behind Every Name a Story consists of essays describing survivors’ experiences during the Holocaust, written by survivors or their families. Filip Muller’s testimony: Auschwitz Nobody was hollering at me. His businesses were confiscated, and honestly I don't know how our mother fed us. “And that's why he must have looked in that coach and thought to himself, ‘well perhaps I'll try and save a couple.’”. It's a notorious thing that people in the camps survived in pairs, or some other people that were taking care of them. She works with the Holocaust Memorial Trust and the Anne Frank Trust. The whole city was like Napa Valley. [My father was injured in World War I] so my mother became the sole supporter of the family. It is and compare and contrast of two families where some members survived, but some unfortunately did not. They carried me outside. My name is Harold Gordon now! I was not the smartest nor the strongest. We were pushed through to the main gate, and once we entered there we thought we'd entered hell. I don't believe that the world learned the lessons from the Holocaust. Wed, 05/15/2019 - 3:05pm . I shared it with everyone. When she was nine years old, Posner and her aunt were allowed to … Edited by Michael Declan Dunn, 25 Apr. Nobody was beating me. All those years while I was imprisoned in Auschwitz, Dachau, and other extermination camps I kept praying to God. Jan. 27 marks both International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. ‘Carry our stories forward’: Holocaust survivors share powerful testimonies at UN. I think he picked up a potato skin or something. Doherty arrived at Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in July 1945, two months after the British had liberated the camp from the Nazis on 15 April. Judith and her mother were tortured for years at Auschwitz before being liberated by the British. People [were] dying left and right from hunger. We jumped out of the train and started waving. We lived side by side and in peace most of the time. I followed my mum, and...the very person who annihilates my family grabs me, and there is an eye contact, and tells me, ‘You're gonna see your mother very soon, she's just gonna take a shower.’. 25,000 were of the Jewish faith and the majority were of Catholic persuasion . I really did not know what happened to us in those last hours [before] liberation. By collecting and recording Holocaust survivor stories, we keep their memories and histories alive for future generations. I sat down at my computer every night after work, like a video it was all right before my eyes. We were suddenly told to pack our luggage and be ready to come to the station. The Holocaust should never be forgotten and should never happen again.” ― Rena Finder, My Survival: A Girl on Schindler's List We were taken to a ghetto first. Billy Harvey, 95, 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. Now they saw piles of rotting bodies, barking dogs, Nazis shouting in German, thick gray ash clotting the air. The British saw a train moving with machine guns on either side, thinking they've got some valuable cargo, they shot our train up. she and her sister were sent to an orphanage while her parents were sent to concentration camps. We were still crying for our mother. I was the youngest survivor from a city of 25,000 Jews. 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. READ MORE: The Jewish Men Forced to Help Run Auschwitz. The town that I grew up in was part of Czechoslovakia until 1938, when it became part of Hungary. No utensils. Holocaust survivor interviews won’t be possible forever, with many Auschwitz survivors now in their late 80s. Holocaust survivor Sidney Zoltak shares his story and reunites with the Polish family that saved him from the Nazis. Something began rumbling in my brain like a volcano. Stay in the loop! I knew it was time to fulfill my second promise. Remember.org - The Holocaust History - A People's and Survivors' History. She never saw her mother or little brothers again. I lived with my family in Grodno, Poland, a city of 65,000 inhabitants. READ MORE: How the Nazis Tried to Cover Up Their Crimes at Auschwitz. We had to sit all night on the stone floor. 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. Unfortunately my graduation present became Birkenau Auschwitz. Eva Kuper was 2 when her mother’s cousin rescued her from a train in the frantic moments before it headed to the Treblinka death camp. I danced for Doctor Mengele and he gave me a piece of bread. We had to sit there naked for men shaving our heads. Historian: Polish society shunned Jewish survivors returning from death camps In ‘Ghost Citizens,’ Polish academic Lukasz Krzyzanowski delves … I graduated age of 18 from a gymnasium [an advanced secondary school]. It was night, and by that time there was no room for us. The Holocaust History – A People's and Survivor History – Remember.org, Holocaust Survivor – Poland – Harold Gordon, Holocaust Picture Book – The Story of Granny Girl as a Child, Anne Frank: The Biography | 1998 Holocaust Book, Holocaust history and stories from Holocaust Photos, Survivors, Liberators, Books and Art. 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. Synopsis The Last Sunrise by Harold Gordon My name is Harold Gordon now! Remember.org helps teachers and students find the best resources on the Internet, and connect them through a collaborative learning structure developed since 1994. After the war, I met someone who told me that he saw my father going to the gas chamber. [Polish survivors] (ID: 20811) View all names in this list Search names within this list. Once, they found a mound of potatoes. View author archive; Get author RSS feed; Most Popular Today 1 … Survivors of Auschwitz on the day of liberation. 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. Decades later, an unlikely reunion 'I don’t believe the whole world’s gone mad. You can't hate your enemies, as I said, because when you hate you're not living. 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. 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 were [in the ghetto] for six weeks under terrible sanitation conditions. Get breaking news and big stories … 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. He didn’t listen to me. All Rights Reserved. I began thinking. I wanted to get some fresh air. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. But 55 years ago I was a (10) year old boy whose name was Hirshel Grodzienski. Men and women were immediately separated. Five to six people have to share it, so we handed it [from] mouth to mouth, back and forth until the soup disappeared. Tales from Auschwitz: survivor stories. She was the … READ MORE: Horrors of Auschwitz: The Numbers Behind WWII's Deadliest Concentration Camp. 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. And that was the most important thing for me: to belong again. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. When author, educator and Holocaust survivor Max Eisen talks about his experience in Nazi-occupied Europe, he starts by remembering life before World War II. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Saul Dreier, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor, decided to start a klezmer band with Ruby Sosnowicz, a fellow Polish-born survivor and accomplished professional musician I constantly was hallucinating about food. Description: Electronic data regarding Polish Holocaust survivors who came back to Poland after the war and registered themselves in local Jewish committees . Judith Jagermann was a Holocaust survivor from Karlsbad. No, I haven't. 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