A Holocaust Death March
They Marched 350 Miles Without Shoes
A Holocaust Survivor Spins a Tale
Gerda Weissmann Klein, a Holocaust survivor and author tells a packed auditorium of fellow Jews of her six year ordeal with the Nazis.
Klein's talk, attracting more than 700 people to the North Shore Congregation in Chicago. The 84 year-old Klein has written five books including "One Survivor Remembers," which was made into a movie and won an Academy Award in 1995.
Klein As A 15 Year-Old
Her story begins when she was 15 years old in 1939 when the Nazis had taken Poland and sent her parents to Auschwitz.
She Was Sold At A Nazi Slave Auction
Nazis captured Klein, and Sarah Silverman, a childhood friend, and they were taken from Poland to Germany, where they were sold at a slave market.
Klein lost her entire family during the Holocaust.
"I feel that the true understanding of the people in the camps has never been completely illuminated," she told the crowd. "Those who perished left no children. You are the spiritual heirs and know of the greatness of the legacy that was left to you. This is why I always want to tell the story."
Klein Marched 350 Miles
As a prisoner, Klein was part of a 350-mile death march in which Nazis attempted to avoid the advance of Allied forces. In May, 1945, it ended in Volary, Czechoslovakia.
Put In A Barn To Be Dynamited
"Our captors locked us into an empty bicycle factory and attached a time bomb. I remember our hopes and prayers, but also the certainty of death. Suddenly it started to rain and the torrential rains and mud prevented the bomb and timer from collecting and it didn't go off," she said. "At dawn the door opened and people were calling out 'the war is over.'"
Rescued By Her Future Husband
"I remember standing in the doorway of the factory, coming down the gentle hill. It was a white star of the American Army. Two men sat in the vehicle, one jumped out and came running towards me," she said. "I looked at him and said: 'We are Jewish,' and he said ''so am I.'
"This was the greatest moment of my life: To be liberated not only by an American but by a Jew."
The soldier asked to see the other women and as Klein led him, he held the door for her. Despite wearing rags, weighing 68 pounds, and no bathing in three years, "he restored me to humanity again," she said. His parents were also gassed at Auschwitz,
She married that soldier, Kurt Klein, three years later in Paris and they settled in Buffalo, New York.
Another Fleabag With A Ridiculous Story
There were no slave markets where Nazis bought Jews. And as far as a 68 pound Jewess walking 350 miles in the middle of winter, I rather doubt it. Next she is rescued by Americans in Czechoslovakia, but the problem is the dates don't add up. And how the parents of her American GI rescuer, and future husband, get gassed at Auschwitz is a real mystery. Did a German sub go up the Hudson river shanghai Jews, and bring them to Auschwitz?
It's all so frightening!
background music: < src="1029schindlr.mid" loop="1">