Scrapbookpages Blog

October 2, 2016

How a 15-year-old girl was saved when gas chamber number 4 malfunctioned at Auschwitz-Birkenau

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

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/true-stories/miracle-that-saved-girl-from-auschwitz-gas-chamber/news-story/e43b559c8fbd77709547cc31eccee4f2

On the website cited above, you can read the story of how 15-year-old Yvonne Engelmann was saved when gas chamber number 4 malfunctioned at Auschwitz-Birkenau — AND SHE WAS LEFT NAKED IN THE GAS CHAMBER OVERNIGHT.

Were there other naked girls who were in the gas chamber with her, and were also saved? The news story doesn’t tell us. Maybe the other girls are all dead now, and they didn’t get a book deal.

Gas chamber number 4 building

Gas chamber # 4 building

The building, shown in the old photo above, was blown up by Jewish inmates in a camp rebellion on October 7, 1944.

The photograph of Krema IV was taken in the Summer of 1943,  just after the building became operational as a gas chamber.

The gas chamber in Krema IV, which was disguised as a shower room, was located above ground in the wing of the building which is on the left side of the photo.

Note that the roof line of the gas chamber is lower than the roof of the main part of the building. Zyklon-B poison gas pellets were allegedly thrown into the fake shower room through windows on the outside wall of the gas chamber. [a good example of German engineering]

Crematorium IV was across the road from the beautiful brick building, called “die zentrale Sauna”. [the central sauna] This building was used for disinfecting the clothing and for processing the incoming prisoners, by giving them a shower.  The movie Schindler’s List shows incoming prisoners taking a shower in the central sauna.

Crematorium IV was also near “the little white house,” where gassing operations allegedly took place, starting in June 1942, before the Crematorium IV and Sauna buildings were completed.

In the movie “Schindler’s List,” women prisoners are shown exiting from the shower room in the Sauna building; they see the high brick chimney of Crematorium IV, which is across the road from the Sauna. The gas chambers in Crematorium IV and Crematorium V were above ground, but in the movie, the prisoners are shown going down steps into an underground undressing room.

The following quote from the news article tells Yvonne Engelmann’s story:

Begin quote

“I was 14 and a half when war broke out,” Yvonne tells news.com.au.

“I wasn’t allowed to go to school, I couldn’t walk on the street, I had to wear the yellow Star of David and couldn’t mix with any non-Jewish people. Friends I’d grown up with now totally ignored me, solely because I was born a Jew.

“My father was taken to the police station many times and we never knew if he would come back. One day he returned and his front teeth had been knocked out. We lived in fear constantly — we had no idea what would happen to us in the next hour, let alone in the next day.”

Born in Czechoslovakia to shopkeeper parents, Yvonne was an only child.

“I had the most wonderful childhood that anyone could wish for, but unfortunately it was short-lived.”

In the limbo of uncertainty, things went from bad to worse. Her parent’s shop was taken away and the family was forcibly removed from their home to a cramped Jewish ghetto.

At the approach of her 15th birthday, she and her family were taken from the ghetto — along with hundreds of others — to the railway station where they were piled into dozens of cattle wagons.

“Men, women, children, screaming babies — the journey was too horrific to even describe,” she recalls.

“There was no ventilation, it was hot, an overflowing tin bucket was the only toilet … we were stripped of our humanity.”

After five long, gruelling days, Yvonne and the rest of the human cargo had arrived at their final destination: Auschwitz. The most notorious Nazi death camp in history.

End quote

The news article includes a photo of the entrance into the Auschwitz main camp, not the entrance into the Auswitz-Birkenau camp. My photo below shows the entrance into the Birkenau camp.

Gate into Birkenau camp

My photo of the gate into Birkenau