Published: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:14:21 -0400
Last Build Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:15:06 -0400Copyright: Louis Brandsdorfer
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:49:23 -0400Leaving Poland for good, my mother travels looking for surviving family and friends. She finds very few, and learns of the fate of many of them. Settling in a displaced persons camp in Wesbaden Germany, she meets my father and starts a new family before moving to America.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:49:17 -0400Returning home after the war. My mother travels on foot and by train through war torn Germany and Poland. She finds other survivors, among them her younger sister Fay. Her homecoming is bitter sweet with the realization of how few survived and the hostile greeting the returning Jews received from the Polish townspeople.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:49:11 -0400The labor camp at Neustadt is unexpectedly liberated when the German guards abandon the labor camp. The Germans move west to excape the advancing Russian army.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:49:02 -0400The labor camp near Hamburg, where my mother spent the last few months of the war.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:48:54 -0400With the Russian army nearing Auschwitz in January 1945, the Germans evacuate the camp and force march the prisoners to the concentration camp at Gross Rosen. Known as the Death March, it lasted many days with the prisoners walking through the bitter cold and heavy snow. Many did not survive, as the German guards killed any who stopped walking.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:48:48 -0400Toward the end of 1944 my mother's kommando is moved from Birkenau to the main camp in Auschwitz.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:48:41 -0400My mother bribes her way into the Blue Affect. It was the building where the clothes of Auschwitz's victims was sorted for use by the Germans.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:48:34 -0400With the fires in Birkenue burning all the time, to dispose of the bodies of the murdered Jews, the ash turns the evening sky blood red. My mother describes this vision of hell that was Auschwitz.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:48:27 -0400Yenta and Sara, my mother's 2 youngest sisters come to Birkenau. The three of them are reunited, but only for a short while as disease and the gas chamber take both of them.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:48:19 -0400My mother is rescued from the gas chamber by Mala Zimetbaum. Later Mala Zimetbaum escapes from Auschwitz with a male accomplice. After a few days they are caught and executed in front of the whole camp.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:44 -0400My mother goes to work in Birkenau, part of Auschwitz, the large death camp in Poland.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:35 -0400Packed into a crowded freight car my mother is sent from Warsaw to the Majdanek. Majdanek was the major concentration camp on the eastern side of Poland.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:29 -0400In April 1943, the Germans conduct a final aktion to clear the Warsaw ghetto. The Jewish partisans of the ghetto create the Passover uprising and my mother goes into hiding with the other Jews in her building.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:23 -0400An aktion was what the inhabitants of the ghetto called the German military operations to capture and remove the Jews from the ghetto. My mother describes the aktion that catches the last of the children and sends them to Treblinka.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:16 -0400With most of the ghetto's Jewish population removed, my mother was assigned to a work detail (Werterfassung in German) that gathered all the valuables from the emptied apartments.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:09 -0400My mother and her daughter are captured in the Warsaw train station, trying to get to the east to find her brother. They are put in prison with other Jews caught outside the ghetto.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:47:04 -0400Having no place left to hide near her home town, my mother and her daughter travel around Poland looking for a safe place to hide from the Germans.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:46:59 -0400The last Jews of the town and region are rounded up for deportation. My mother, fearing for the life of her daughter, goes into hiding. One of her sisters joins her as they move from place to place seaking refuge.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:46:54 -0400The Germans start to assemble Jews from the area and send them to work camps. Later assemblies send them to death camps.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:46:47 -0400The lives my mother's family and the other of Jews living in a small Polish town under German occupation.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:46:40 -0400Living in a town near the German border my mother witnessed the strength and speed of the German attack on Poland.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:49:37 -0400My mother begins her recollections of the Shoah with a conversation she had with a friend and fellow survivor.