The title is taken from a letter written by Marcel Nadjari ,a Jewish-Greek survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau. Marcel was a member of the Sonderkommando in Birkenau from May 1944 to November 1944.
The letter is an eye witness account of his experiences as a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz Birkenau. He had the task of of removing dead bodies from the gas chambers.
He put the papers inside a thermos flask, wrapped the thermos in a leather pouch, and buried it. His letters were found a
Below are some excepts from the letter. Please take note that this is eyewitness evidence, feel free to use it whenever you encounter a Holocaust denier.
“If you read about the things we did, you’ll say, ‘How could anyone do that, burn their fellow Jews?’”
“Many times I thought of coming in with them to the gas chambers,”
“Our work was to receive the prisoners first, most of them did not know the reason,the people I saw when their destiny was sealed, I told the truth, and after they were all naked, they went further into the death chamber, where the Germans had laid pipes on the ceiling to make them think they were preparing the bath, with whips in their hands, the Germans forced them to move closer and closer together, so that as many as possible could fit in”
“After half an hour, we opened the doors of the gas chamber, and our work began. We carried the corpses of these innocent women and children to the elevator, which brought them into the room with the ovens, and they put them in there the furnaces, where they were burnt without the use of fuel, because of the fat they have.”
“I wanted to live to avenge the death of Papa and Mama, and that of my beloved little sister, Nelli.”
His letter was uncovered by a student in 1980 but it was only readable about 10% at the time. A ussian-born historian Pavel Polian has been able to make the document about 85 to 90 percent legible.
I know showing graphic pictures of the Holocaust always have a profound impact, but that is only the impact of what we feel at the time we look at the picture, and after a while that impact fades away.
Marcel’s words leave a lasting impact because it the account of someone who was there and was forced to help in order to safe his own life. I know the question he mentions himself “How could anyone do that, burn their fellow Jews?’” is a valid one , but is also one that none of us can answer because we were not put in that situation.
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All that is interesting.