Scrapbookpages Blog

July 14, 2013

Did incoming prisoners at Auschwitz get their own shoes back after taking their first shower?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:31 am

Why am I questioning the procedure at Auschwitz, with regard to the shoes that the prisoners were wearing, when they arrived on a cattle car and were waved to right for the showers, or to the left for the gas chamber?

I am questioning this because of an article that I read here about Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert, who was recently treated to tea and cake at Buckingham Palace.  The article didn’t explain how Ms. Ebert managed to survive the gas chamber at Auschwitz, so I had to do a search to find out more.  I found this article in The Telegraph, which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the article in The Telegraph:

My mother gave me a gold pendant when I was about four. It is the only thing I have from when I was a child, and against all the odds it survived with me through camp, slave labour and a death march. I wear it every day.

The pendant, which Ms. Ebert saved, is shown in the photo below.

Lily Ebert saved this pendant by hiding it in the heel of her shoe

Lily Ebert saved this pendant by hiding it in the heel of her shoe while she was a prisoner in Auschwitz

This quote is from the article in The Telegraph:

This German man was there with his shining boots and with one movement of his hand he said to go right or left. Old people, children, babies were sent to the left and young people to the right. The people sent to the left were taken straight to the crematorium. That was the last time I saw my mother, younger sister and younger brother. [Lily’s father had died in 1942.]

My other two sisters and I were taken to a big place. They cut our hair. They said, “Undress, leave everything outside, put it nicely together. When you get out from the shower you will find everything there.” When we came out from the shower all they had left us was our shoes.

Wait a minute! Were the incoming prisoners at Auschwitz given back the shoes that they were wearing when they arrived?  Not according to the stories of numerous other Auschwitz survivors.

I have read many books, written by Holocaust survivors, most of them borrowed from my local library.  Fortunately, I purchased the Holocaust survivor book: Triumph of Hope by Ruth Elias.

I got out the book, written by Holocaust survivor Ruth Elias,  and found this quote on page 108:

When we came out [of the shower] we were sopping wet. They threw some clothes at us. […]  …I was handed a flimsy dark-blue silk dress and a lightweight coat; no underwear, no stockings, just wooden clogs.  Before we were led into the shower room, we had to bundle our own clothes and shoes together and turn them in.  We never got them back.

Every Holocaust survivor book that I’ve ever read, and including the books that I haven’t read, all say that the incoming prisoners were not given back their original clothes and shoes, after they got out of the shower.

The clothes and shoes were first disinfected, and then given to the next batch of prisoners. The prisoners had to trade with each other until they found a dress and a pair of shoes that fit them.

This quote from The Telegraph continues the story of how Lily Ebert saved her precious pendant all through her time in Auschwitz:

With time, my shoe heels got worn out. So every day I put the pendant in the piece of bread we got, and like that the jewellery survived. I think it was the only gold that went into Auschwitz and came out with its original owner. If somebody there had wanted to give me a little piece of bread for it I would have been very happy to change it because bread was life. Today I would not part from this jewellery for all the money in the world.

What does this fake Holocaust survivor story remind you of?  It reminds me of the story of Irene Zisblatt who put her diamonds into a wad of bread before she swallowed them over and over while she was in Auschwitz.

The incoming prisoners at Auschwitz were sent to the “Zentrale Sauna” where they had their hair cut, and were disinfected, then given a shower.  You can read about the central Sauna on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/ZentraleSauna.html

You can also read about Lily Ebert on this website.

Another Holocaust survivor caught in a lie.  What else is new?