Scrapbookpages Blog

February 4, 2016

Another Holocaust survivor who was saved by lying about her age

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:52 am
Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkeanu

Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkeanu death camp

In the photo above, notice the men, wearing striped shirts, who are helping with the unloading of prisoners who have been brought on a train to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

The real function of these prisoners was to advise young people to lie about their age, so that they would not be sent immediately to the gas chamber.  Children under the age of 15 were automatically sent to the gas chamber soon after they had arrived.

One of the many Holocaust survivors, who was saved by lying about her age was Mindu Hornick. You can read her story in this news article:

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Mindu Hornick

Begin quote:

An inspirational grandmother who survived the horrors of Auschwitz concentration camp has shared her experience with pupils at a Birmingham school.

Mindu Hornick , of Edgbaston, was just 13 years old when she was sent to the notorious Nazi extermination camp with her mother, sister and two younger brothers.

The 86-year-old arrived at Auschwitz in a cattle carriage, but survived along with her older sister Bilu after a Polish prisoner advised the girls to lie about their ages and claim they were skilled seamstresses.

“When we arrived at the camp there were 70 of us, all women, mothers and children, in the [train] wagon,”

“As we got out of the wagon a Polish man, in striped uniform, spoke Yiddish to my mother and told her to send us ahead, and say we were 17 and 19 years old.

“He said ‘don’t worry, you will see them later’.

“I realise now that saved our lives, my mother and brothers were sent to the gas chambers.

“I can still remember walking away from my mother, looking back and seeing her scarf blowing over her face.

“Little did I know at the time that I would never see her or my young brothers again.”

Mindu was one of a number of survivors of a host of atrocities to give talks at Rockwood Academy, which has been working with charity the Anne Frank Trust UK – teaching pupils about the holocaust as well as raising awareness of lesbian, gay and transgender issues.

End quote

Before you say that the Nazis were all bad, you must remember that they had the decency to place prisoners at the train ramp, so that they could advise young girls to lie about their age, so that they would not be sent immediately to the gas chamber.

This quote is also from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

Mindu said her life was saved thanks to being sent to work in an underground ammunitions factory, seven months after she first arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942.

“When people ask how I survived, I always tell them the same thing – sheer luck,” said Mindu.

After being liberated by the American army in May 1945 Mindu initially returned to Prague, but was forced to flee to live with an uncle in Birmingham in 1948 during the Soviet occupation.

“After the cafe culture of Prague, Birmingham [in England] felt very smoky and dark, but I was safe and free for the first time,” said Mindu.

End quote

My photo of the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber

My photo of the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

How 11-year-old Mala Langholz, a Jewish girl, fooled the Nazis and survived the gas chamber

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:00 am
My photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz  extermination camp

Every day, it seems, there is another story in the news about an 11 or 12 year-old Jewish child who was saved from the gas chambers during the Holocaust.  Today’s story is about Mala Langholz, who is still alive, and is currently out on the lecture circuit, telling her heart-warming story.

Holocaust survivor Mala

Holocaust survivor Mala Langholz was an 11-year-old Jewish child who survived the Holocaust

As everyone knows, children under the age of 15 were gassed by the Nazis, so how did Mala manage to survive?

Young children waiting for their turn in the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Young children waiting for their turn in the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Begin quote from news story:

In an article published by the Jewish Journal in last year’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Ms. [Mala] Lanholz [Langholz] said it was only by the will of God and the humanity of those around her that she survived her ordeal.

Born in 1931 in Lodz, Poland, she was the second youngest of six children. Her family was gathered up and relocated to a ghetto where her father was murdered by a member of the SS. Not long afterwards they were all rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Of the 60 members of her extended family, 58 were murdered.

In her story in the Jewish Journal, she said, “The horrors of Auschwitz will always live in my memory. I remember classical music playing to camouflage the cries of those in the gas chambers. Each evening, instead of saying good night to each other, we would say goodbye, not knowing whether we would live through the night. I’d often wake up to find a frozen or starved body next to mine.”

The Nazis would line them up to determine who would go to the gas chambers next. “At that critical moment, the older women in the camp would lift me—a child of just 11-years old—up on their shoulders so that I’d look older. They saved my life,” she said.

End quote