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July 28, 2014

Holocaust survivor Edith Eger was pulled from a pile of corpses by an American G.I.

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:33 am

This quote is from the website of Dr. Edith Eger, Ph.D. at

Almost a year to the day from when she arrived in Auschwitz, [Edith Eger] was pulled from the pile of corpses in the woods by an American GI who was there with the 71st Infantry to liberate the Gunskirchen Larger camp. He saw her hand move. She weighed 60 pounds and had a broken back, but she was alive!

On January 18, 1945, Jewish prisoners were marched out of Auschwitz and taken to various camps, including Mauthausen where a tent camp was set up for the Hungarian Jews. Gunskirchen was a sub-camp of the Mauthausen Class III camp in Austria, where prisoners were sent to work in factories.

Entrance into Ebensee, a camp similar to Gunskirchen

Entrance into Ebensee, a camp similar to Gunskirchen in Austria

You can read about the liberation of Gunskirchen, and see many photos of the dead and dying prisoners, on this website:

On the website, cited above, there are many photos of corpses lying on the ground when the Americans arrived.

This quote is from the website of Edie Eger:

Edie’s story began in Kassa, Hungary where she grew up with her parents and older sisters, Magda and Klara. In May of 1944 at the age of 16 her life changed forever. Edie was sent by the Germans to Auschwitz concentration camp along with her parents and sister Magda. […]

…the guards [at Auschwitz] found out from other inmates that Edie had been a ballerina in Hungry. They told Dr. Mengele, who liked to be entertained by the inmates. He sent for Edie to dance for him. As Edie was onstage dancing for Dr. Mengele, she saw the black smoke from the gas chamber, which likely contained the ashes of her mother, drift upward toward heaven.

How terribly insensitive of Dr. Mengele!  He had 16-year-old Edie dancing on a stage that was outside where she could see the black smoke coming from the gas chamber building, which likely contained the ashes of her mother.  Edie was 16 years old, so she had not been selected for the gas chamber, which was the fate of the prisoners under the age of 15 or over the age of 45.

But it gets worse!

This quote is from Edie’s website:

Edie said as she continued to dance, “Dr. Mengele discussed with the guards who should die next. I prayed. Not for myself, but for Dr. Mengele, so he would not have to kill me. It was then that I began to pity the Nazis; they were more imprisoned than I. Somehow I would survive, but they would always have to live with what they had done.”

Edie and her sister Magda were close to death many times. Whenever they showered, they never knew if they would receive water or gas. They had to carry ammunitions for the Nazis on the infamous “death march.” They were used as human shields on top of a train full of ammunitions. The Nazis thought that the allies would not drop bombs on a train carrying prisoners, but they were wrong. The bombs killed others around them, but Edie and her sister survived.

From June 1944 to May 1945 Edie and Magda were moved from camp to camp, eventually ending up in Gunskirchen Larger camp. They were becoming exhausted and emaciated with hunger. Edie became so weak that she went in and out of consciousness. Even her sister’s vigilance as a caretaker couldn’t revive Edie. She was unconscious when guards thought she was dead and they tossed her in a mass grave in the woods behind the camp.

According to Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert, in his book entitled Holocaust, the last death marches of the war began on May 1, 1945 as the American Army approached; prisoners from the main camp at Mauthausen and the sub-camps at Gusen and St. Valentin were marched to Gunskirchen and Ebensee. Hundreds of them died from exhaustion, or were shot because they couldn’t keep up, or as they attempted to escape. When American troops in the 80th Infantry Division arrived on May 4, 1945, there were around 60,000 prisoners from 25 different countries at Ebensee.

I don’t have much information about Gunskirchen, but you can read about Ebensee, a similar sub-camp of Mauthausen, on my website at

I previously blogged about Dr. Edith Eger here. She first told the story that she was saved from the gas chamber by turning cartwheels to distract the guards.

You can read more about Dr. Eger’s ordeal in The Budapest Times newspaper here.

This quote is from The Budapest Times:

Many in the audience suppressed tears as Eger told the story of her survival. She was the youngest daughter of a Jewish tailor in Budapest, and she was transported to Auschwitz just as she turned 16. Her sister, a talented violinist, managed to hide and avoid deportation.
Their father, a stubborn man, was shot upon arrival at the concentration camp because he refused to shave his head. The remaining two children were ripped from their mother’s arms still on the ramp leading off the train, and she continued her way to the gas chamber.
Edith and her sister Magda were saved only by luck and instinct. The talented Edith entertained Dr. Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death”, with private ballet presentations, and in return she got a piece of bread and more time to live.
“I did what the victims of violence often do: I dissociated,” Eger said of her encounter with Mengele. “I imagined that the music is from Tchaikovsky and I am dancing on the stage of the Budapest Opera in the role of Julia.”.

What? Edie’s father “refused to shave his head”?  I didn’t know that the Jews had to shave their own heads at Auschwitz.  The hair was shaved from the heads of the prisoners in order to control the lice that spreads typhus.

Hungarian women walking toward the women's camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau after their heads were shaved

Hungarian women walking toward the women’s camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau after they were given a shower and their heads were shaved

The photo above shows Hungarian women walking into the women’s section on the south side of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp after they have had a shower and a change of clothes. Behind them is a transport train and in the background on the left is one of the camp guards. The woman with dark hair in the center of the photo is Ella Hart Gutmann who is in the outside row facing inward. Next to her is Lida Hausler Leibovics; both women were from Uzhgorod. Their heads have been shaved in an attempt to control the lice that spreads typhus.

What is the point of all this?  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade — or you write books — or you turn your ordeal into a lucrative career in Psychology — and laugh all the way to the bank.  Along the way, you sprinkle in a few lies, such as the one about Dr. Mengele discussing which prisoners he was going to kill next. This happened while you were dancing and watching the smoke come out of the chimney while your mother’s body was burning. Oh, the humanity!


  1. Like the survivors of the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, the SS has also grown elderly. But their vile ideas persist in SS wannabees. Rather than openly saying “Kill the Jews”, the wannabees say “The Jews were not killed.”Like any good SS Nazi, they call others liars to protect themselves. Whether the ballet shoes were pink, white or just imagined…the horror was real. ” The dance is irrelevant. The murders are what is important. The Final Solution” was not a fairy tale dreamed up by some storyteller but the product of the well-known Wannsee Conference that mapped out the destruction of the Jewish people. Also German was widely spoken in Hungary.

    Comment by Angela — April 1, 2019 @ 7:47 pm

  2. I have been diagnosed with suppressed depression and impacted PTSD and reading a Edith’s book has been so enlightening for me

    For the past three years I have lived with a day today fight not to take my life For the first time I actually can see some hope that I haven’t been able to see for many years. Thank you Edith for sharing your story and along with the thousands you have helped you have just helped another woman simply by reading your book

    Comment by Pauline Harper — August 24, 2018 @ 4:42 pm

  3. For all of the people saying that this is a lie, do you want to be put in her shoes? Do you want to be sent to a death camp? Do you really believe that this is a lie? I don’t understand why you can’t believe this story. Do you want to be sent to Auschwitz?

    Comment by Elizabeth Neisen — May 4, 2017 @ 3:47 pm

  4. All I can think to say is…OMG — some Jews are really so brazen with their lies and fairy tales. Unbelievable. She rivals Irene Zisblatt, something that before I would not have thought possible.

    Comment by eah — July 5, 2015 @ 2:11 pm

  5. Jewish women of hassidic persuasion had already their heads shaved.

    How many damning stories would we be entertained to, were this degrading custom forced by Christian priests instead of rabbis?

    Comment by Eager For Answers — July 28, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

  6. Once more the jews claim they saw smoke coming out of the ‘gas chambers’. Never the crematory. These people were confused beyond belief, they knew people were dying and simply bought the crass rumours spreading like wildfire, that there were gas chambers. So they thought that smoke coming up was of course from the gas chambers and not of course from the crematory.

    Comment by Clent — July 28, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

    • I dare you to be put into her shoes, try living through all those terrible times she faced growing up. Because of it she has become a stronger woman, and she is absolutely amazing. She says that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all, maybe you should consider that

      Comment by madison — May 26, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

      • That was meant for you, DB

        Comment by madison — May 26, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

  7. “They were used as human shields on top of a train full of ammunitions”

    You know a story is a lie when you hear the boring, over-used Jew phrase “human shield”.

    “The bombs killed others around them, but Edie and her sister survived”

    Oh yes of course, how convenient.

    Yawn yawn

    Comment by DB — July 28, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  8. I don’t think I COULD dance while watching smoke in the sky and listening to a conversation in a language completely foreign to my ears.

    Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

    Comment by Jett Rucker — July 28, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    • There are many indications that Dr. Mengele was a nice fellow. Maybe he spoke Hungarian for her benefit.

      When the prisoners got off the train at Auschwitz, their luggage was taken from them, but Edie somehow had her ballet slippers with her when the other prisoners told Dr. Mengele that she was a ballerina.

      Notice that Edie does give Dr. Mengele the title of Dr. Most stories about Dr. Mengele do not include his title.

      Comment by furtherglory — July 28, 2014 @ 9:14 am

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