Scrapbookpages Blog

April 10, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Iby Knill breaks her silence to tell story of a twin who was gassed at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:16 pm

In an article in the Mail Online newspaper, 90-year-old Iby Knill tells the story of a twin girl, whom she met on her first night in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in July 1944. Iby Knill was among the Hungarian Jews who were sent to Birkenau, beginning in May 1944.

This quote is from the article in the Mail Online:

A grandmother who survived the Holocaust has finally spoken about the horrors of Auschwitz 70 years after promising a girl she would tell the world what she had witnessed.

Iby Knill, 90, recalls how on the first night she spent at the death camp in July 1944 a frail teenager crawled over to her and begged ‘if you live, please tell our story.’

Four years ago Mrs knill took a course in theology and it was during one of the group sessions that she finally revealed she was sent to the concentration camp when she was 20.

In a moving testament she describes the realisation that she faced being gassed like six million others.

Remembering her terrible first night at Auschwitz, she said: ‘The girl told me that her and her sister were going to be experimented on.

‘She said they were then going to be gassed and therefore exterminated. She made me promise to tell the story of the camps, if I were to live.

I previously blogged here about Block 10, the building in the main Auschwitz camp where Dr. Josef Mengele allegedly conducted his experiments on twins.

I always thought that Dr. Mengele had a reputation for being very charming, and that he was nice to the twins upon whom he experimented, bringing them candy and hair ribbons. Now the truth comes out!

Dr. Mengele told the little girls that they were going to experimented on and then GASSED.  Not only that, Dr. Mengele allowed the twins, on whom he was going to experiment, to be put into the same barracks as the incoming prisoners, so that they could tell these prisoners what Dr. Mengele had in store for them.

At Auschwitz, the incoming prisoners, who were selected to live, were given a shower and then put into the quarantine barracks near the entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  But not Iby Knill. She was put into the regular barracks, where she met a twin, who was scheduled to be gassed by Dr. Mengele, after he experimented on her. How cruel of Dr. Mengele to tell a child that she was going to be gassed, after he was through experimenting on her!

Iby Knill spent only six weeks at Auschwitz before she was sent to a labor camp to work. Yet, on her first night in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, Iby was in the same barracks as one of Dr. Mengele’s twins. No quarantine barracks for her!

Several years ago, I wrote about Iby Knill on my scrapbookpages.com website. This quote is from my website:

Iby Knill was 18 and working as a resistance fighter in Hungary when she was arrested and eventually transported to the Birkenau death camp in June 1944, according to a news article by Virginia Mason, published on January 26, 2010.

Iby’s story begins when she was a young girl growing up in her native Czechoslovakia; when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, she escaped over the border into Hungary but was arrested as an illegal immigrant.

“There were five of us, all girls and we made a pact to stay together as we walked through those gates and were greeted by the man we later learned was Dr Josef Mengele,” she says of her arrival at Birkenau. “From that day on it became a test of survival.” Miraculously, she adds, all five of them lived to witness the liberation from the Nazis in 1945.

By 2010, Iby had started writing her story and was seeking a publisher for her manuscript, which is chillingly brutal in its frankness, according to Virginia Mason’s article.

According to Iby Knill, “The shower unit and the gas chamber looked the same. They had been built that way, so we never knew if we were to be gassed or just showered.”

In her lectures on the Holocaust, Iby describes the infamous Dr Mengele, whose experiments in the name of medical science earned him the nick name, Angel of Death. “We lined up and he would walk in front of us, picking out the weakest. Their fate was the gas chambers.”

She talks of the cramped, inhuman conditions at Birkenau, the incredible hunger and thirst, and worst of all, the scraps of gray, latherless soap made from human ashes, and the constant fear of extermination in the gas chamber.

According to her story, Iby was able to leave the Birkenau death camp only by volunteering to go to the Lippstadt labour camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she worked in the hospital unit. On Easter Sunday, 1945, while on a death march to the main Buchenwald camp, she was freed by Allied Forces.

Note that Iby was sent to the Lippstadt labour camp, after 6 weeks in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  She VOLUNTEERED to go to the labor camp. Did she volunteer to leave Auschwitz-Birkenau because she didn’t like using the grey soap made from HUMAN ashes?  I can’t say that I blame her: that soap wouldn’t suds and it wouldn’t foam.

Prisoners, who were sent immediately from the Auschwitz death camp to a labor camp, were not tattooed. Iby wrote a book about the fact that she did not have a tattoo, as if she were the only person to leave Auschwitz without a tattoo.

The cover of her book is shown in the photo below.

Iby Knill had no number at Auschwitz

Iby Knill had no number at Auschwitz

The news article about Iby Knill says that she was liberated from Kaunitz, which was a Displaced Persons camp, not a labor camp. She was marched out of the labor camp, and was on her way to the Buchenwald camp when she was liberated by Allied troops, then taken to a DP camp to wait for a chance to emigrate to another country.