As the holocaust survivors advance in years their stories need to be kept alive and documented for their are some that deny the holocaust ever happened.
Holocaust survivor stories are difficult for the survivor and the listener.
The survivor has to re-live an event that is an absolute nightmare that actually did occur. The listener has to hear of unthinkable heinous crimes against humanity.
Many of the survivors that tell their stories are from age 60 to 100’s. The survivor stories will soon not be able to be heard first hand.
When you listen to or read a holocaust survivors story you can see the hand of God intervening on their behalf and you can sense within the survivor the strong will to live and not die.
There are currently less than a half a million survivors and their holocaust survivor stories need to be heard to help this generation to never allow such abominable acts to occur again.
Rabbi Baruch G., born in Mlawa, Poland in 1923 a survivor that was first sentenced to a labor camp as a bricklayer and he tells of his experience:
“I will never forget the first time I was beaten up and that really got to me, not so much the, not so much the, the pain from the beating, but the mental anguish. Instead of telling me how to put bricks together, had to be placed a certain way in order for them to be stacked up, he simply went over and beat me for it, without [my] knowing why. I couldn’t even cry. When I came home, this is when I burst out crying. Animal! And I was, I was conscientious. I had to go to work. I knew one thing. I had to do the best I can – [it was] forced labor. But why? I mean, what right? What? It was incomprehensible to me.”
Rabbii Baruch lived in difficult ghetto conditions prior to being transported to Aushwitz along with his mother and brother who were immediately killed in the gas chambers.
After having being shuffled from different concentration camps he was liberated in April of 1945 from Buchenwald.
He tells of how alone, scared and worthless he felt in the displaced persons camps. No family and no personal belongings.
He eventually emigrated to the United States to begin a new life. God blessed him with a wife a son and an opportunity to be able to have a new life.
Helen R. was raised in Zwolen, Poland remembers how life was prior to the hatred and murder of the Jews. When the World War II began in 1939 she was 16.
Helen, her parents and 3 siblings lived on the run to avoid round-ups and mass shootings until 1942 when her parents were deported and the children were sent to the Jewish Ghettos.
She tells of her experience at the Plaszow concentration camp:
“There were still children in that camp [Plaszow], mothers with children. One morning…they started taking away the children from the mothers. …Each SS man or SS woman they told them such nice stories and the music was playing, blasting the loud speakers. And here the children didn’t want to leave the mothers, and it was so much pain, so much tragedy, seeing the separation…when the children were really small…Even a child at three or four years old, she knew that if she’s leaving her mother’s hand, that she’s going to death. They cry…I can still hear it and the blast of those loud speakers…the Strauss waltz playing loud. …They didn’t even take them to Auschwitz. …There was a little hill and they took them up. …There was no consolation. I mean how can you tell a mother? What can you tell her? …It’s something that I don’t think anyone can imagine!”
Helen and her sister were liberated from Bergen-Belsen but both brothers were killed in the camps.
Helen emigrated to the U.S. and started a family. She raised two daughters and taught them to be loving and caring.
Helen believed: “I have to make the best of it (life), can’t go on hating and remembering all the time.”
What an incredible fruit of the spirit of God “Forgiveness”.
Some holocaust survivors have been able to forgive but others have not.
The holocaust survivor stories will help you to keep a grateful heart for what you have as you listen to what the survivors had stripped from them.
All holocaust survivor stories are unique and some are more bearable to hear than others as the details can get pretty graphic.
As the world we live in continues to grow more and more antisemitic it is important that the holocaust survivor stories are told because history is known to repeat itself.
We as humans cannot allow this to happen again.