Scrapbookpages Blog

October 27, 2015

Irene Zisblatt still telling her diamond-swallowing story at age 89

Irene Zisblatt

Irene Zisblatt points to the spot where her tattoo was removed

The photo above shows Irene Zisblatt, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who now lives in Florida, as she addressed students from Fairland High School in 2009, telling them about her experience at Auschwitz-Birkenau and other Nazi concentration camps. She is pointing to the spot under her arm where her prison number tattoo was removed in an experiment by Dr. Josef Mengele at Birkenau.

You can read the latest news about Irene Zisblatt here.

This quote is from the news story:

Holocaust survivor Irene Weisberg Zisblatt will be sharing the story of her life at a wine and cheese event taking place at the Soref Jewish Community Center in Plantation [Florida].

The 89-year-old survivor, who resides in Plantation, is most well known for her 2008 autobiography “The Fifth Diamond.” Her testimony is featured in the 1999 Academy Award winning documentary “The Last Days,” produced by Steven Spielberg for the Shoah Foundation.

I wrote about Irene in this previous blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/stuck-in-the-door-of-the-gas-chamber-how-irene-zisblatt-survived-auschwitz-birkenau/

I also wrote about Irene on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/IreneZisblatt.html

Krema III building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema III building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The photo above shows the Krema III gas chamber building and the fence that Irene was thrown over into a boxcar on the tracks beside the building.

This quote is from my website:

Begin quote:
In the book “The Last Days,” Irene tells how her mother gave her advice, before the train left the ghetto, that saved her from being immediately selected for the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The following quote is from the book entitled “The Last Days”:

And she told me to say I was twenty years old – I was only thirteen – because then I would be sent to work in a factory where I would get food and I would survive.

End quote from “The Last Days.”

The following quote is from a newspaper article written by Nate Hubbard after Zisblatt gave a talk to students in Bland County, Virginia on March 9, 2009:

But the most gripping part of Zisblatt’s account came when she told of narrowly escaping the gas chamber. She said she was selected along with approximately 1,500 other women to be killed. When the prisoners were herded into the gas chamber, though, there wasn’t room for them all. Zisblatt said she wound up right in the doorway, clinging to a piece of wood as her fingernails were ripped off causing blood to gush from the tips of her fingers. When the door couldn’t be closed with Zisblatt blocking the way, she was flung out of the chamber.

With the help of another prisoner, she said she was able to escape Auschwitz by getting on a train traveling across tracks running near the No. 3 gas chamber. The train took her to the Neuengamme labor camp in Germany where shortly after she was forced to go on a “death march” as the war wound down. After marching for days upon days in hellacious conditions, Zisblatt said she and a friend realized they had a chance to escape during a dark night as they stood between two forests. […] Providence, though, finally smiled down on Zisblatt as she and her friend made a successful escape and were soon thereafter discovered by American soldiers.

Irene Zisblatt had been saved by a young Sonderkommando (Jewish crematorium worker) who rescued her after she was thrown out of the Krema III gas chamber because the room was too full. He wrapped her in a blanket and tossed her over the 10-foot-high barbed wire fence around Krema III; she landed in an open railroad car of a train that was bound for the Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany.

End quote from newspaper.

End quote from my website

The moral of this story is that if you have a story to tell, stick to it, in spite of what anyone says, and in spite of how many people make fun of you.  Irene is still going strong at age 89.  She might go on to become the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world. She has already won the prize for the most unbelievable Holocaust survivor story.

20 Comments »

  1. No one could have the knowledge of things going on before arriving at Auschwitz and so advise to tell to be of higher age in order to be selected for forced labor. Then one aged thirteen could say to be fifteen certainly not twenty when passing selection. But that story meets what requested by Shoah business.
    And for this and similar story someone who at those times of darkness had to try to save what had been possible faces accusations like “you knew but went cooperating with the evil” or as stated by Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger “Jews autodestructed themselves” and his disciple blamed the Judenrat to have things made possible.
    At the end of the Labyrinth of lies beginns the Labyrint of Ignorance followed by that of stupid accusations. My bitter experience.

    Comment by Wolf MURNELSTEIN — October 27, 2015 @ 11:46 pm

    • Furthermore I wonder whether that lady remembers that barbed fences had been loaded with electric power just in order to prevent certain ways of escape. The SS had been expert criminals and knew all the trics they wanted to prevent. Effect of suggestive questions asked by a Shoah Businessman?

      Comment by Wolf MURNELSTEIN — October 28, 2015 @ 3:06 am

      • There is more to the story. This quote is from my website page about her:

        Begin quote:
        The following quote is from a newspaper article written by Nate Hubbard after Zisblatt gave a talk to students in Bland County, Virginia on March 9, 2009:

        But the most gripping part of Zisblatt’s account came when she told of narrowly escaping the gas chamber. She said she was selected along with approximately 1,500 other women to be killed. When the prisoners were herded into the gas chamber, though, there wasn’t room for them all. Zisblatt said she wound up right in the doorway, clinging to a piece of wood as her fingernails were ripped off causing blood to gush from the tips of her fingers. When the door couldn’t be closed with Zisblatt blocking the way, she was flung out of the chamber.

        With the help of another prisoner, she said she was able to escape Auschwitz by getting on a train traveling across tracks running near the No. 3 gas chamber. The train took her to the Neuengamme labor camp in Germany where shortly after she was forced to go on a “death march” as the war wound down. After marching for days upon days in hellacious conditions, Zisblatt said she and a friend realized they had a chance to escape during a dark night as they stood between two forests. […] Providence, though, finally smiled down on Zisblatt as she and her friend made a successful escape and were soon thereafter discovered by American soldiers.
        End quote

        Comment by furtherglory — October 28, 2015 @ 8:40 am

        • The train took her to the Neuengamme labor camp in Germany

          Talk about bad luck! Escapes the ‘death camp’ Auschwitz on a train, only to find out the train is heading to another concentration camp.

          Comment by eah — October 28, 2015 @ 9:55 am

          • Neuengamme did not have a gas chamber, so prisoners were safe from being gassed there.

            Comment by furtherglory — October 28, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

  2. There are many “unbelievable,” yet true, stories of survival from this horrible time, as from many other dark, gory times in history. Sure, maybe in her young mind some of it seemed exaggerated – maybe that portion of the fence was 5′, not 10′ – but there is no reason to disbelieve her. You are inappropriately nasty to suggest that “She has already won the prize for the most unbelievable Holocaust survivor story.” What basis do you have to disbelieve her, rather than to think that maybe some of her memories could possibly be exaggerated – or maybe they may not be?

    Heinz, wtf? See above, though you don’t even deserve such genteel language in response to your despicable comment.

    Comment by Halli — October 27, 2015 @ 11:23 am

    • You should write a biography of her — you could call it ‘The Diamond Defecator of Auschwitz’. Go ahead, I dare you.

      the prize

      Yes, a prize for the best title for a biography of Irene Zisblatt.

      Comment by eah — October 27, 2015 @ 12:23 pm

      • “You should write a biography of her — you could call it ‘The Diamond Defecator of Auschwitz’. Go ahead, I dare you.”

        That was a good one!🙂

        Comment by Gasan — October 27, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

      • Or maybe ‘Diamonds are a Defecator’s Best Friend’.

        Comment by eah — October 28, 2015 @ 12:12 am

      • ‘Poop and Diamonds – The Messy but True Story of my Life in Auschwitz’

        Comment by eah — October 28, 2015 @ 1:55 am

    • The fence around Krema III was definitely 10 feet high. I put up a photo of the building, so that you can see that the fence was as tall as the building, below the roof. You can read more about Krema III on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Birkenau03A.html

      Comment by furtherglory — October 27, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

      • As I recall, she claimed she was thrown over the fence and into the moving car of a passing train.

        Comment by eah — October 27, 2015 @ 2:46 pm

        • Irene has changed her story a little bit over the years. She now says that she was PUT on a train, not that she was thrown over a 10 ft high fence by a BOY. I blogged about this change on this previous post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/irene-zisblatt-says-that-she-was-put-on-a-train-at-auschwitz-by-a-sonderkommando-boy-who-wouldnt-tell-her-his-name/

          Comment by furtherglory — October 27, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

          • She’ll get it right one of these days…

            Comment by eah — October 28, 2015 @ 8:17 am

          • I wonder whether that Lady remebdred how the fences had been loaded with electrical – high voltage – power and so no inmate could go near to it without being shocked to death. Things occured at Auschwitz, in other Death Camps, in overcrowded Ghettoes, etc. had been so terrifying that there is no need for propaganda tales which only enforce negationists.

            Comment by Wolf MURNELSTEIN — October 28, 2015 @ 8:36 am

            • There were warning signs with the words “high voltage” in German on all of the fences at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Those signs have been removed at Birkenau, but there are still plenty of these signs at the main Auschwitz camp. The fence posts were curved at the top, so it would have been very difficult for a mere boy to toss a child over the fence and into a boxcar on the tracks a few feet away. I think that Irene had never even seen Auschwitz or she would have known that this famous toss was impossible.

              Comment by furtherglory — October 28, 2015 @ 9:06 am

              • Furtherglory. Every inmate knew that the fences had been loaded by high voltage electric power; warning signs or not. Here is another exemple of how the suggestive questions asked by Shoah businessmen can lead an aged survivor to tell nonsense. For refusing to answer in the requested form a suggesitve question I had had even trouble.

                Comment by Wolf MURNELSTEIN — October 28, 2015 @ 10:58 am

        • I don’t recall that the train was moving. She was allegedly thrown into a GONDOLA car. Some people might not be familiar with this. You can see a photo of a train with gondola cars on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/gondola-car/

          Comment by furtherglory — October 28, 2015 @ 8:48 am

    • Halli is right. Nobody should suggest that Irene Zisblatt “has already won the prize for the most unbelievable Holocaust survivor story.” So many talented contestants. Hard to say who is the best Holo-liar of all…😉

      Comment by hermie — October 28, 2015 @ 2:16 am

  3. she should be billed out as “Holohoax comedian”

    Comment by heinzhb@gmail.com — October 27, 2015 @ 10:47 am


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