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February 12, 2010

New born babies at Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:15 pm

New born babies at the Dachau Concentration Camp

Shown from left to right in the photo above are: Iboyla Kovacs with her daughter Agnes; Suri Hirsch with her son Yossi; Eva Schwartz with her daughter Maria; Magda with her daughter; and Boeszi Legmann with her son Gyuri.

How come we don’t hear much about the babies at Dachau?

Well, for one thing, they didn’t arrive at the Dachau concentration camp until April 30, 1945,  the day after the camp was liberated by American soldiers.  The sub-camps of Dachau were being evacuated by the Germans in the last days of the war and the prisoners were being bought to the main Dachau camp where they could be taken care of by the Americans.  The mothers and babies were evacuated from one of the eleven Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau.

The reason, that the babies and their mothers got to Dachau a day late, was because the train they were on was bombed by American planes.

War is Hell, but for the winners, it is great fun.  The winners get to shoot or bomb everything in sight, including trains carrying people.

The bomb that hit the train carrying the mothers and babies to Dachau was no accident.

In the last days of World War II, America had P51 Mustang bombers which could fly at tree-top level and shoot anything on the ground with 50 caliber bullets.  Or they could bomb any target with precision, using the Norden bomb sight. American bombardiers liked to boast that they could drop a bomb into a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet.

From their P51 Mustangs, Americans were shooting cows in the field in Germany and even strafing trains carrying prisoners that were being evacuated from the war zone.

On their way back, after bombing churches and historic buildings in German cities, the P51 Mustang bombers would get rid of any left over bombs by hitting “targets of opportunity.”  The train carrying the babies to Dachau was a “target of opportunity.”

But I digress.  This is about babies and their mothers who survived the concentration camps.

The following information about the Dachau babies is from my own web site,

Starting in May 1944, thousands of Hungarian Jewish women were transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, but were then transferred to one of the eleven Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau, which were located near Landsberg am Lech in Germany. Seven of the Hungarian women who became pregnant were put into the “Schwanger Kommando,” in one of the eleven Kaufering sub-camps in December 1944. All seven of the mothers gave birth to healthy babies between February and March 1945. Just before Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the women and their babies were evacuated from the Kaufering camp and put on a train bound for the main camp. On the way, the train was hit by Allied bombs, but the women and their babies survived; they arrived at Dachau shortly after the liberation.

Babies and their mothers in a Dachau hospital

Shown from the left in the photo above are Iboyla Kovacs with her daughter Agnes; Suri Hirsch with her son Yossi; Eva Schwartz with her daughter Maria; Magda with her daughter; Boeszi Legmann with her son Gyuri; Dora Loewy and her daughter Szuszi; and Miriam Schwarcz Rosenthal with her son Laci (Leslie).

Miriam Schwarcz Rosenthal was the last of the mothers to give birth at Kaufering. Miriam was one of the 14 children of Jeno and Laura Schwarcz of Komarno, Czechoslovakia. After Czechoslovakia was jointly invaded by Germany, Hungary and Poland in 1938, the section of Czechoslovakia where the Schwarcz family lived was taken over by Hungary. On April 5, 1944, Marian was married to William Rosenthal, and two weeks later, she became separated from her husband when she was sent to a ghetto. Miriam was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with her husband’s family, in the middle of May 1944.

Miriam survived the first selection for the gas chamer upon her arrival at Birkenau and was assigned to the women’s barracks where, after several weeks, she realized she was pregnant. In order to get out of Birkenau, she volunteered for a transport to the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow. After only a few weeks of working at Plaszow, the camp that is shown in the movie Schindler’s List, she was sent back to Auschwitz-Birkeanu.

Upon her arrival at Birkenau, Miriam survived another selection for the gas chamber, although she was six months pregnant. According to Miriam, the SS guards would ask the women who were pregnant at Auschwitz-Birkenau to step forward to receive extra rations, but the women thought that this was a trick to get them to identify themselves so that they could be sent to the gas chamber.

Miriam was soon transferred again, this time to a sub-camp of Dachau in Augsburg, Germany where she was assigned to work in a Messerschmitt airplane factory. One day in December 1944, while at work in the factory, two SS men saw that she was pregnant; they escorted her on a passenger train to one of the Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau near Landsberg am Lech, where she was placed in a barrack with six other pregnant women who would soon be ready to give birth. Even though they were pregnant, the women were forced to work in the camp laundry.

In February 1945, the women at Kaufering started to give birth. A Hungarian Jewish gynecologist was assigned to help them through, even though he was too weak to stand. A Jewish kapo working in the kitchen had kept the women alive during their pregnancy by sneaking them extra rations.

In March 1945, Miriam was the last to give birth and became very ill afterwards. Boeszi Legmann nursed Miriam’s baby until Miriam recovered.

Mothers with babies at Dachau, shown during a protest