The title of my blog post today comes from a line in a news article which you can read in full here:
Begin quote from news article:
[Gene] Simmons was born Chaim Witz in 1949. He and his mother immigrated [emigrated] to the United States from Israel when he was eight years old.
Speaking with Big Issue, Simmons discussed her [his mother’s] traumatizing past with the Nazis. “My mother was 14 when she was in the concentration camp in Nazi Germany,” he said. “My father left us when I was about six. She, bless her—she continues to be a force—she never spoke about it.”
Even though his mother didn’t want to discuss what she’d been through, Simmons pushed forward by investigating what it was like. “I did my own research and found out just now terrible it was,” he said. “I’ve tried to talk about it but she just won’t do it. She saw her mother walk into the gas chambers. Her whole family was destroyed. My mother was the only one left alive. And she was 14. I’ve been to the Holocaust museum in Israel. The Nazis kept detailed records of every name and I saw my mother’s name at 14, listed as one of the passengers on the train.”
Wait a minute! His mother was 14, but she was not sent to the gas chamber? Only children 15 and older were allowed to live. Obviously, she lied about her age. One of the Sonderkommano men, who was standing beside the train, probably told her to lie about her age and say that she was 15, not 14.
To which gas chamber was his grandmother sent?
How cruel the Nazis were! To let a 14 year girl live, so that she could watch as her mother walked to her death!
But how did she know that her mother was walking into a gas chamber?
Birkenau was a 425 acre site, but the gas chambers could be seen from the trains, as the Jews arrived. Especially gas chamber number III which was very near the tracks. This is the same gas chamber from which Irene Zisblatt was saved when a young boy threw her over the fence and into an open train car on the tracks.
So we have proof that the mother of Gene Simmons was on a train that arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. What is the proof that she was gassed?
One would think that the Nazis would have tried to keep the gassing of the Jews a secret. But No! They were too stupid to put the gas chambers out of sight.