Scrapbookpages Blog

September 16, 2012

Alex Moskovic, a survivor of Buchenwald Block 66, who has a tattoo on his left arm

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:46 am

There is a documentary film, entitled Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald, which I am hoping to see sometime soon. The film features Alex Moskovic and three others, who were young boys in children’s barrack #66 at Buchenwald during World War II.

A news article, posted on September 25, 2011, which you can read in full here, features an interview with Alex Moskovic.

This quote is from the article:

Hearing Alex’s story firsthand is an eye-opening experience. He relates his experiences without a trace of self-pity. By every appearance, he is just another well-ordered octogenarian with a trace of an accent. He could be just another retiree from Florida who found his way to Southern Utah to enjoy the sun and the scenery. Nothing about Alex outwardly suggests that this is a man who survived the type of ordeal that few of us can comprehend.

Nothing, that is, except for a fading tattoo of the number B14662 on the inside of his left forearm. It’s the first and only tattoo I’ve ever seen that inspired an attitude of reverence and reflection.

The story of Alex Moskovic parallels that of Elie Wiesel, the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor. Both Elie Wiesel and Alex Moskovic were marched out of Auschwitz, as far as Gleiwitz, when the camp was abandoned by the Germans in January 1945.  Both were transported from Gleiwitz to Buchenwald on open coal cars. Both were put into Block 66, the children’s block where they were protected by the Communist prisoners.

Here is another quote from the article about Alex Moskovic, written by Bryan Hyde, a year ago:

In early 1944, at age 13, Alex Moskovic found himself and his family in the infamous Nazi death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald during WWII. When a guard learned Alex’s age, he was told that he should claim to be 16, no matter what anyone one said. At that time, 16 years of age was the minimum age allowable for forced labor. Those prisoners who were too young or too elderly to work were among the first to be exterminated.

During our interview, Alex described losing forty members of his family along with other friends, neighbors and acquaintances during his captivity. He described how starvation, disease, forced labor, and threats of abuse or death at the hands of camp staff were his constant companions. Prisoners were expected to live on a meager 600 calories a day. Alex was among those who survived the hellish experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele. Alex doesn’t exaggerate when he states that for many occupants of Birkenau the only way out was “through the smokestack.”

Elie Wiesel had a similar experience when he arrived at the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau, at the age of 15 and a half, in May 1944.  In his famous book Night, Elie didn’t mention the gas chambers; on his first night in the Birkenau camp, there were two burning ditches, one for adults and one for children.  Elie and his father barely escaped being marched into a burning ditch.

Alex Moskovic was tattooed with the number B14662 at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Elie Wiesel was tattooed with the number A7713.  You can read about the controversy regarding Elie Wiesel’s tattoo here.  Elie Wiesel swore under oath that he has the number A7713 tattooed on his arm, although he refuses to show it.

You can read more about Alex Moskovic and the documentary film here.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page in the link where you will read this:

Kenneth Waltzer is professor of history and director of the Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University. He has completed researching and is finishing a book tentatively titled Telling the Story: The Rescue of Children and Youth at Buchenwald; he is also preparing a second book tentatively called Buchenwald Stories: Children in the Nazi Concentration Camps.

Professor Waltzer has been in the news several times connected with his research on Buchenwald, including his discovery of the rescuer of Israel Meir Lau (Lulek), the eight year old boy who later became Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel and is today head of Yad Vashem, and his outing of a Holocaust memoir fraud, Angel at the Fence, by survivor Herman Rosenblat, whose story appeared first on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Professor Waltzer has interviewed and compiled information on over 150 former Buchenwald boys who live around the globe, primarily in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Australia, England, and France. He is a major source for the history of child rescue and child experience in Buchenwald and of the story of the kinderblock 66.