Scrapbookpages Blog

March 24, 2014

Holocaust survivor of Buchenwald who was sent to France

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:30 am

In a news story, which you can read here, it was mentioned that Leo Lowy was a Jewish survivor of Buchenwald, who was sent to France after the camp was liberated. Before he was sent to Buchenwald, Lowy had been a prisoner at Auschwitz, which was the SECOND camp to which he had been sent.

The news article did not mention the first camp, to which he was sent, but it was probably the Theresienstat camp in what is now the Czech Republic, since Lowy was living in Czechoslovia at that time.

Lowy was 85 years old when he died, so he was probably born in 1929 and was 15 years old when he was sent to Theresienstadt.

According to Holocaust history, a total of 44,693 Jews from Theresienstadt were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On September 8, 1943, a transport of 5,006 Czech Jews was sent to Auschwitz where they were put into a “family camp” which was liquidated six months later, when all but a few of the Czech Jews were gassed. There were 22,503 Jews from Theresienstadt who were transported to unknown destinations in the east.

At Auschwitz, Lowy was sent to the right by Dr. Josef Mengele because he claimed that he was a “carpenter” and able to work. To the left meant the gas chamber.

This quote from the news article explains why Leo Lowy’s parents were gassed:

[Lowy] was left orphaned after his parents became ill and were refused admittance to the [Auschwitz] hospital because they were Jews.

Contrary to Lowy’s story, Otto Frank,  the father of Anne Frank, was admitted to the hospital at Auschwitz, which enabled him to survive the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.  Anne Frank also survived Auschwitz-Birkenau because she was sick and was sent on the “sick transport” to Bergen-Belsen, where she subsequently died in the typhus epidemic.

This quote is also from the news article:

After the liberation [of Buchenwald] in 1945, U.S. troops took in the teenager [Leo Lowy] as their “mascot,” feeding him in exchange for chores, and brought him to France.

There were 904 children, who were in the Buchenwald camp when it was liberated, and most of them were orphans.  After the liberation of the camp, two American army chaplains, Rabbi Herschel Schacter and Rabbi Robert Marcus, contacted the offices of the OSE (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants), the Jewish children’s relief organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Children at Buchenwald, most of whom  were orphans

Children at Buchenwald, most of whom were orphans

The OSE made arrangements to send 427 of the Buchenwald children to France, 280 to Switzerland and 250 to England. On June 2, 1945, OSE representatives arrived in Buchenwald and along with Rabbi Marcus, accompanied the transport to France. Rabbi Schacter escorted the second transport to Switzerland.

Buchenwald orphans leave the camp, on their way to France

Buchenwald orphans leave the camp, on their way to France