What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Holocaust wasn’t a sudden event but a gradual one.Most of the victims looked just like any one else in society therefor in order for the Nazis to identify Jews,Jehovah Witnesses,Homosexuals and other victims. they needed the help of the public servants who worked in the citizens registration office throughout the occupied countries.
Another thing that is often overseen is the psychological terror and anxiety endured by the victims, since 1933 they would have asked themselves the question “When will they come for me?” because most of them knew being arrested and deported would have been inevitable.Also for those who helped them.
The picture above is of three participants in the Treblinka uprising who escaped and survived the war. Warsaw, Poland, 1945.
Below are just some of the victims. They are in all age groups,some survived and others didn’t. But even those who survived that psychological terror often stayed with them,combined with survivor’s guilt until they died, or even for those who are still alive until today.
Jermie and Chaje Adler
The second of seven children, Jermie was born to poor, religious Jewish parents at a time when Selo-Solotvina was part of Hungary.
Orphaned as a young boy, he earned a living by working at odd jobs. In the 1920s he married Chaje . Together, they moved to Liege, Belgium, in search of better economic opportunities. There, they raised three daughters.
In Liege the Adlers lived in an apartment above a cafe, and Jermie and Chaje ran a successful tailoring business. Their children attended the French-language public schools. When war began in Poland in 1939, his wife was fearful, even though Belgium was a neutral country. It brought back troubling memories of her village being overrun during World War I.The Germans occupied Belgium in 1940. To bypass the rationing system, Jermie would buy butter and eggs from the local farmers, who then pretended to the authorities that they’d been robbed. When Liege’s Jews were forced to register in 1942, Catholic friends helped the Adlers obtain false papers and rented them a house in a nearby village. Jermie fell ill and on Friday, March 3, 1944, he checked into a hospital. While he was in the hospital, the Gestapo arrested his wife, two daughters, and a nephew.
On May 19, 1944, Chaje was deported from the Mechelen internment camp to Auschwitz with her two daughters and a nephew. They were gassed two days later.
Jermie returned to Liege after it was liberated by U.S. troops on September 8, 1944. All but his eldest daughter were killed during the war.
The Ulma family
At the onset of World War II, Józef Ulma (born in 1900) was a prominent citizen in the village of Markowa: a librarian, a photographer, active in social life and the local Catholic Youth Association. He was an educated fruit grower and a bee-keeper. His wife Wiktoria (born Wiktoria Niemczak in 1912), was a homemaker. The Ulmas had six children: Stanisława, age 8, Barbara, age 7, Władysław, age 6, Franciszek, age 4, Antoni, age 3 and Maria, age 2.
In the summer and autumn of 1942, the Nazi police deported several Jewish families of Markowa to their deaths.Only those who were hidden in Polish peasants’ homes survived. Eight Jews found shelter with the Ulmas: six members of the Szall (Szali) family from Łańcut including father, mother and four sons, as well as the two daughters of Chaim Goldman, Golda and Layka. Józef Ulma put all eight Jews in the attic.
In the night of 23-24 March 1944 German police came to Markowa from Lancut. They found the Jews on the Ulma farm and executed them. Afterwards they murdered the entire Ulma family – Jozef, Wiktoria, who was seven month pregnant, and their six small children – Stanislawa, Barbara, Wladyslawa, Franciszka, Maria, and Antoni. The eldest of the Ulma’s children had just begun to attend classes in primary school.
Eva Heyman, aged 13, in Hungary a few months before she was murdered in a gas chamber, 1944
The Lerer Family
Family photo taken in Paris, France 1942 of 7 year old Bernard Lerer standing beside his older sister and in front of his father. The family was murdered in Auschwitz on Aug. 23,1942.
Gad grew up in Berlin. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Austria. Gad’s mother had converted to Judaism. The Becks lived in a poor section of Berlin, populated predominantly by Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. When Gad and his twin sister, Miriam, were 5, the Becks moved to the Weissensee district of Berlin, where Gad entered primary school.
Gad was just 10 when the Nazis came to power. As one of a small number of Jewish pupils in his school, he quickly became the target of antisemitic comments: “Can I sit somewhere else, not next to Gad? He has such stinking Jewish feet.” In 1934 his parents enrolled him in a Jewish school, but he had to quit school when he was 12 as they could no longer afford the tuition. he found work as a shop assistant.
s the child of a mixed marriage [Mischlinge], he was not deported to the east when other German Jews were. He remained in Berlin where he became involved in the underground, helping Jews to escape to Switzerland. As a homosexual, he was able to turn to his trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places. In early 1945 a Jewish spy for the Gestapo betrayed him and a number of his underground friends. He was interned in a Jewish transit camp in Berlin.
After the war, Gad helped organize the emigration of Jewish survivors to Palestine. In 1947 he left for Palestine, and returned to Berlin in 1979.
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