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March 19, 2012

Holocaust survivor was saved because she chose to walk to the shower, not ride to the gas chamber

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:18 am

Rebecca Hauser, a Holocaust survivor who recently spoke to Duke University students, said that she was saved because she chose to walk, instead of waiting for the truck that transported new arrivals at Auschwitz to the gas chamber.  At the age of 22, she had been sent from Greece, in early April 1944, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

This quote is from the online Duke University newspaper:

Upon arrival at the [Auschwitz-Birkenau] concentration camp, individuals were given the option of either walking or riding to the showers, Bonnie Hauser [Rebecca’s daughter] said. Against her mother’s request, Rebecca Hauser chose to walk. She was then escorted in line to the showers, where everyone’s head was shaven (sic), and they were ordered to walk wet, cold and naked across the grounds to pick up their clothes. She was tattooed with an identification number, still visible on her left arm today.

Rebecca Hauser said her mother, father and the others who chose to ride to the showers were taken to the crematorium where they were killed. Although she occasionally regrets having disobeyed her mother’s request to ride with her on the last day of her life, she also recognizes that if she had done so, she would have been killed.

In 1944 trains arrived inside the Birkenau camp within a few yards of the two main gas chambers which are shown in the background

The photo above shows prisoners who have been brought inside the Birkenau camp; the tall chimneys of Crematorium II and Crematorium III can be seen in the background.  Crematorium II (Krema II) is on the left and Crematorium III is on the right.  Trucks were needed only for the elderly Jews who could not walk. The photo below shows Jews who are waiting for the trucks.

Jews waiting for a truck to take them to the gas chamber

According to Rebecca Hauser’s story, the prisoners were given the choice to live or die.  If they were in good enough condition to walk to the shower room, they would live.  The shower room at Birkenau was in the building shown below, which was located about a mile from where the trains stopped.

The Sauna building at Birkenau where prisoners took a shower and had their heads shaved

In the photo below, two women who have chosen to walk, head north toward the Sauna building. Note that the SS man has directed the women to the left, which is the direction of the Sauna.

Two women who have chosen to walk to the shower after going through the selection process at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Rebecca Hauser’s story of how she survived the Holocaust clears up a lot.  The tall SS man in the photo above is politely asking each new arrival “Do you want to walk to the shower or do you want to wait for a truck to take you?”  The two women in the photo have chosen to walk and they are headed north toward the Sauna where they will take a shower and live to tell their story to university students years later.


  1. poor hitler, he was just trying to help.

    Comment by heil hitler — June 24, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  2. furtherglory…really? how can u love the world of the holocaust?????????its devastating!!!!!

    Comment by Elizabeth Mitchell — December 19, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  3. the people who had just arrived and asked if they wanted to ‘walk to the showers or wait for the truck’,were all those people accepted to stay at Auschwitz or were they just asked that right off the bat?????Because i thought the old people/elderly were told to go to the gas chambers right when they arrived……

    Comment by Elizabeth Mitchell — December 19, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  4. Thanks FG.

    I’m not a member of Stormfront, not my cup of tea, but a couple of years ago they had a thread called Tales of the Holocaust, which ran to over 800 pages of survivor tales, all sourced. They found Filip Muller’s cyanide-drenched-cheese eating tale from your website.

    The MO was to summarise in a few lines (but not exaggerate) what the survivor claimed.

    It’s very funny, I read through it a year ago, here’s an example:

    “Today’s sad holocaust tale comes to us from Daniel Mendleson.

    Daniel is mad at Mischa, because her lies have taken away from the true stories of holocaust survivors. like the 2 Jewish boys who lived in the forest, and strapped deer hooves to their feet to confuse the nazis who were hunting them in the forest. ( the nazis had special squads that hunted the forests of europe, looking for Jews)

    Or the sad story of a Jewish boy who saw his parents shot, and kept walking East…to China.”

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 20, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  5. Perhaps it was in the Birkenau trenches the Germans had previously covered with canvas to use as temporary gas chambers?

    This is a memorable buried alive tale:

    “Katalin Weinberger was also in a German concentration camp at the end of World War II.
    There she helped save the life of her sister, Charlotte Frimm, when she was sick with typhus.

    Katalin buried her sister in a remote part of the camp with just a small pipe sticking up through the soil for her to
    breathe. For 30 days she snuck food and water to her sister. A Jewish doctor at the camp snuck medicine to her.”

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  6. If the stories of this fantastic legend had even a smidgen of validity in them the friendly SS-man perhaps could have expressed himself thusly:
    “Do you want to walk to the shower or do you want to be driven by chariot to our splendid and newly renovated Gas Chamber? We don’t use diesel exhaust as those twerps in Treblinka; here we drop Zykon-B pellets on the cold floor. It’s excellent, really.”

    I find the stories of this “Holocaust” difficult to digest.


    Comment by k0nsl (@k0nsl) — March 19, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  7. “Nazi officials then realised they were scheduled to kill 500 rather than 700 women, and she was among those removed from the gas chambers and spared, Blumenthal said.”

    “He survived Auschwitz only because there was no more room in the gas chamber on his appointed day.”

    “They ran out of gas”

    These “I only survived the gas chamber because >> insert implausible story here << " could make a decent Ho£ocaust book of their own.

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 19, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    • I read this on the first link that you provided: “At six years old my sister was too young to escape. She was taken to Auschwitz where she was murdered with so many others by being buried alive,” said Wise.

      Do you happen to know where the “burying alive” spot was in Auschwitz? It had to be somewhere out in the open so that there would be witnesses who could tell about it after 1945. Fortunately, the surviving witnesses were marched out of the camp and taken to Germany, so that they could tell their stories.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 19, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    • Regarding the second link that you gave, I looked up Brother Stanley Maria Kolowski and found his obituary at I am quoting from his obituary:

      Begin quote
      A FRANCISCAN friar who was a friend of Blessed Maximilian Kolbe when they were both prisoners in Auschwitz concentration camp, has died in Amprica. Polish-born Brother Stanley Maria Kolowski, a Capuchin, had to flee first from the Russian invaders of Poland in 1939, when he was a seminarian, and then from the Nazis when they began to arrest all Capuchins.

      After taking refuge at Mariampol and becoming involved in an underground news paper, he was sent to Auschwitz. It was there he met Fr Maximilian Kolbe, who offered his life to save another prisoner.
      End Quote

      The newspaper article from 1978, as published in the link that you gave, is a bit mixed up. Brother Kolowski was a prisoner in the main Auschwitz camp, where he met Brother Kolbe, also a political prisoner in the main camp. The article mentions that he survived the gas chamber then goes on to say that “A short time later, he was taken to another camp, where he was liberated by American troops two hours before he was to be executed.”

      Friar Kolowski was probably sent to Dachau very soon after he arrived at the Auschwitz main camp. The part about him assisting in organizing secret Masses was most likely at Dachau, which was the main camp for priests. Only priests can say Mass and I don’t think there were priests at Auschwitz — not for very long anyway. Friar Kolowski had an active imagination. First, he was saved from the gas chamber in the nick of time, and then he was saved from being executed at Dachau, just in the nick of time. Most of the SS men had left the day before Dachau was liberated, but there were still executions going on, according to Friar Kolowski.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 19, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

      • I found this in NMT Vol.5 (Pohl Trial) p.1075

        At Auschwitz, clergymen were used for road-building —

        “The steam roller used for pressing down gravel was tended and pulled by Catholic priests only. They were whipped with
        clubs until they fell unconscious, and then the steam roller rolled over them and crushed them.” (XVIII/178, Doc. 2223-PS.)

        Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s true.

        Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 20, 2012 @ 7:54 am

        • I think the priests probably used a roller for pressing down gravel at Dachau, which was the designated camp for priests. I have a photo, of a steam roller that was used at Sachsenhausen, on my website at If a steam roller was used at Auschwitz, I think there would be a photo of it somewhere, or even the original roller would be on display.

          The purpose of using a steam roller was to level the ground. If the ground was level, the steam roller would not have rolled over the priests, who were pulling it, after they fell down.

          Comment by furtherglory — March 20, 2012 @ 9:10 am

      • I know Br. Stan Maria Kołowski. He was a friend of mine in New Jersey. He spoke the truth the best he could, about everything. He lived through cataclismic events, but his mind was sound. He always was kind to strangers. When we visited in conjunction with my desire to be priest, which he encouraged, saying, “never give up this desire, because “God’s mercy is for ever,” he always greeted me with a cup of coffee and a wonderful cake. I have several of his letters, with encouragements for my vocation pasted on the envelopes with words cut out from newspapers.

        Comment by robert — April 11, 2016 @ 2:49 am

    • Regarding the Holocaust survivor story in your third link, this woman went back to Majdanek in 1981, so it is unforgivable that she made a mistake in saying that she was saved because the Nazis ran out of gas. The Majdanek gas chambers also used carbon monoxide, so even if they had run out of Zyklon-B, she could still have been gassed with carbon monoxide. She also made a mistake in saying that the Majdanek gas chambers had shower fixtures. She should have noticed on her 1981 visit that the shower room was separate. The prisoners took a shower before they entered the gas chamber; a hot shower warmed up their bodies so that the Zyklon-B gas would work faster. Strangely, after not being able to gas her at Majdanek, the Nazis sent her to Auschwitz-Birkenau where she was given a good job in the clothing warehouses. In all the saved-from-the-gas-chamber stories, the Nazis rarely sent a survivor to the gas chamber in a second attempt to kill them.

      You have posted quite a few stories on your blog in which survivors told their story of how they were saved from the gas chamber. You should make a collection of these stories and publish them in a book.

      I love the word Ho£ocaust. In America, it is known as the Holocau$t.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 19, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

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