When I first started blogging in Feburary 2005, one of my very first blog posts was about Francska Mann, the beautiful woman who shot an SS man inside the undressing room for Krema II (crematorium number 2) at Auschwitz-Birkenau:
Today, I read another account of the Franceska Mann story, given by Holocaust survivor David Wisnia, which you can read in full in a news article here.
This quote is from the news article:
[David] Wisnia was sorting clothes on Oct. 23, 1943, when he witnessed the unthinkable – the deadly revolt at Crematorium 4.
[Krema IV was actually blown up by some of the Auschwitz inmates on Oct. 7, 1944.]
A group of prisoners, including the Polish Jewish dancer Franceska Mann, were taken into a room [the undressing room] next to a gas chamber and ordered to strip.
Mann apparently grabbed the roll-call officer’s pistol, fatally wounding him in the stomach, according to some accounts. She also reportedly fired a shot that wounded an SS sergeant. A revolt by the other prisoners was broken up when guards mowed them down with machine guns.
As the months passed and artillery began to sound in the distance, the Nazis began moving the prisoners in what Wisnia called the “death march.” In December 1944, they walked to Gleiwitz, Poland, to board a train to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
Gleiwitz was in Germany at that time and there was a sub-camp of Auschwitz there in 1945.
Krema IV was the building that was blown up by Auschwitz inmates, including some of the women. You can read about Krema IV on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/RuinsIV.html
Davis Wisnia was working in the clothing warehouse, at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was called Canada because of all the riches to be found there.
According to his story, Wisnia was going through the pockets in the clothing, collecting money for the Nazis. The Canada warehouse was not close to Krema II where Franceska Mann shot an SS man, nor was the Canada warehouse close to Krema IV.
Wisnia’s memory seems to be failing, but that’s O.K. I can’t remember everything either; I have to look up dates and other details.