Scrapbookpages Blog

August 11, 2015

New book about a survivor of the Lodz ghetto

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:57 am
The cover of a new book written by the son of a Holocaust survivor

The cover of a new book written by Goran Rosenberg,  the son of a Holocaust survivor

You can read  all about this new book at

I wrote about a survivor of the Lodz ghetto on this page of my website:

This quote is from the very end of the news article, cited above:

In this haunting exploration of the Auschwitz legacy — how it crushes long after the gas chambers are shut down — Goran Rosenberg [the son of a Holocaust survivor] has wrought, from the second-generation perspective, a book that overwhelms.

Brimming with duty-bound love but inescapably tragic at its core, “A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz” is a tour de force fully on par with Primo Levi’s “If This Is a Man” and other literary classics of the Holocaust.

I wrote about Primo Levi in this previous blog post:

This quote from the news story tells about the Jews, who went to Sweden after they survived the Holocaust, but found that even the Swedes hated the Jews:

Sweden has its own dark side. Snowballs hit the kitchen window as children shout “Jews!” Goran learns on the playground that a “marble Jew” is someone who cheats at the game. And his father sustains a concussion in a violent fight at the truck factory with a co-worker who insinuates that he is a good-for-nothing Jew.

This quote is from the beginning of the news article:

But a recent book by Swedish author and journalist Goran Rosenberg is both. In “A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz,” Rosenberg masterfully retraces the struggle of his father to rebuild a completely shattered life after surviving Nazi slave labor and death camps, including the infamous Auschwitz.


David Rosenberg, a Polish Jew from Lodz who barely survives the war, arrives in Sweden in 1945 at age 24. He eventually settles in the bland, industrial town of Sodertalje in search of a place to replace the sights, smells, sounds and people of a world that has disappeared.


… he reunites with Hala, from whom he was separated on the selection ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau; they marry and soon have a child. They want to name him Gershon, after David’s father, who died in the Lodz ghetto. But friends say the name sounds too foreign. How about Goran? It’s nice, Swedish-sounding, and will help the child blend in.

Did you catch the part about the “marble Jew”?  Even in Sweden, the citizens didn’t like Jews because they cheat.  Is this why the Jews were Holocausted?

March 8, 2014

How Holocaust survivor Bernard Marks survived Auschwitz without a tattoo…

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:46 am

Holocaust survivor Bernard Marks recently gave a talk, to 8th grade students at Holmes Junior High School in Davis, California. He revealed that he was a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, although he has no tattoo on his arm.

A number tattooed on the arm of a Holocaust survivor

Prisoners at Auschwitz had numbers tattooed on their arms

You can read an article, about the talk given by Bernard Marks, in the Davis Enterprise newspaper at

This quote is from the article in the Davis Enterprise:

When it was [Bernard’s] turn to be tattooed [at Auschwitz], Marks said, he told the German officer he had to use the restroom. He even got into an argument about it, going so far as to tell the officer if he didn’t let Marks go, he would find himself in a large puddle. He was given permission to go, as was his father, who was ordered to make sure he returned. But they never did, managing to avoid the tattooing day after day.

It was, Marks said, “just one of the games we played.”

So famous Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is not the only survivor of Auschwitz who got by without a tattoo.  You can read about Elie and his lack of an Auschwitz tattoo at

Primo Levi wrote, on page 27 of his book Survival in Auschwitz, that every prisoner was required to have a tattoo in order to get their food in the chow line: “It seems that this is the real, true initiation: only by showing one’s number can one get bread and soup.” Levi was a prisoner in the Auschwitz III camp, aka Monowitz.  Without a tattoo, how did Bernard Marks get any food in the Auschwitz camp?

Elie Wiesel was sent to Buchenwald after he was marched out of Auschwitz.  Bernard Marks was sent to Dachau, where his mother and brother were killed, although Bernard and his father were spared.

I wonder why Bernard’s mother was sent to Dachau to be killed.  Why hadn’t she been gassed at Auschwitz?  Dachau was not a camp for women. There were no women there until the very end of the war.  I previously blogged about the women who were sent from Auschwitz to Dachau at

Elie Wiesel had no ID number at Buchenwald; I wonder if Bernard Marks got by without an ID number at Dachau.

This quote, regarding the tattooing of prisoners, is from a well-known True Believer website at

The registration of newly arrived prisoners took place after the issuing of clothing and consisted of filling out a personal form, including details of next of kin. These forms were kept in the camps Political Department.

Thus registered, the prisoner received a camp serial number, which would serve instead of their name, for the duration of their stay in the camp.

(photo of Auschwitz Tattoo. Number of Henry Oertelt B11291)

The registration process [at Auschwitz] also included the tattooing of the prisoners camp number on their left forearm, and photographs were taken of the prisoners from three angles. […]

Every prisoner registered in Auschwitz Concentration Camp received a camp number, which he had to wear on his striped uniform in a precisely defined place.

Bernard Marks was 13 years old when he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. How did he manage to get past Dr. Josef Mengele, the most famous of the 30 SS men who made the selections for the gas chamber?  Prisoners under the age of 15 or over the age of 45 were sent to the gas chamber immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz.

This quote from the Davis Enterprise explains why Bernard Marks was not sent to the gas chamber upon his arrival at Auschwitz:

In August 1944, Marks and his family were transported from Lodz to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Marks’ father had managed to hang on to his son’s work permit, which showed him being two years older than he really was, and it spared him on the selection ramp at Auschwitz — a ramp upon which the infamous Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death,” decided who would be killed and who would be spared to labor in the camp.

The rest of Marks’ family wasn’t so fortunate.

I will never forget that day,” he said.

He credited his father for saving his life time and again and getting him through the ordeal.

And he ended the presentation to Holmes students with a little levity. Asked by a student if he had a number tattooed on his arm like other Holocaust survivors, he told the story of how he and his father managed to avoid that particular indignity with a little ingenuity.

It should be a crime for Holocaust survivors to tell 8th graders stories about how they fooled Dr. Mengele and were able to get by without a tattoo at Auschwitz.  The lack of an Auschwitz tattoo is an indication that Bernard Marks was not really at Auschwitz.

Another clue is that prisoners from the Lodz ghetto were sent directly to Dachau, near the end of the war.

This quote is from the H.E.A.R.T  (True Believer) website:

They [the Jews in the Lodz ghetto] were tortured and subsequently shot or transported to Dachau and Mauthausen concentration camps.

December 4, 2012

8th grade student and 82-year-old Holocaust survivor share stories in Toronto

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:40 am
Mother and bay were directed to Krema II on the left side of the train

Mother and baby are directed to Krema II gas chamber on the other side of an incoming train at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

Sally Rosen is an 82-year-old survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Joshua is a student in a middle school in Toronto. They shared Holocaust survival stories when Ms. Rosen recently gave a talk at Joshua’s school.

According to her story, Ms. Rosen was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on a train in 1944. It is well known that everyone under the age of 15 was destined for the gas chamber, but Ms. Rosen was saved when Dr. Josef Mengele looked away for a moment, and she was able to join the saved line and also shove her mother into the saved line.

How did Ms. Rosen know about the two lines at Birkenau?  Note the prisoner, wearing striped “pajamas,” on the left side of the photo above.  The Nazis had the courtesy to post prisoners, who were Kapos, at the selections; the Kapos informed the incoming prisoners on methods of survival.

In the photo below, new arrivals at Auschwitz-Birkenau are shown in two lines, one line for men and another line for women and children.  Dr. Mengele is shown at the head of the line of men, holding a cigarette at chest height, totally unconcerned that some of the Jews might try to sneak into a different line.

Dr. Mengele turns his back on two columns at Birkenau

Dr. Mengele turns his back on two columns of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This quote is from an article, about the talk that Ms. Rosen gave to middle school students in Toronto, which you can read in full in the Canadian National Post here:

New arrivals were broken into four lines and inspected by Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor. They were divided into two groups. One lived. One died.

“Mengele looked at me and I looked down,” Ms. Rosen says. “You couldn’t look him in the eye. And then God said — ‘I shall make you a miracle’ — and Mengele, in that moment, he looked away, and so I pushed my mother into the [group that lived].”

Note that Ms. Rosen did not refer to Dr. Mengele as Doctor, although he had two degrees:  A Doctor of Medicine and a PhD in Anthropology.  Most Holocaust survivors are alive today because Dr. Mengele made some kind of mistake. Yet, he gets no respect.

Where are the photos of the alleged four lines and two groups, one group that was intended to live and one group was intended to die?  Of course, the Nazis didn’t photograph that.  The photo below shows a line of men and a line of women; two women have just been sent to the left of the incoming train.  This road led to Krema III, Krema IV and Krema V, but it also led to the Sauna where incoming prisoners took a shower.  (Part of this road is now covered by the International Monument.)

Two women are sent to the left at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Two women at Auschwitz-Birkenau are sent to the SS man’s left

As you are facing the end of the tracks into the Birkenau camp, with your back to the “Gate of Death,” Krema II is on the left, as shown in the photo below.  Krema III, Krema IV, Krema V and the Sauna are on the other side of the tracks.

Krema II is on the left side of an incoming train at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema II is on the left side of an incoming train at Birkenau

This quote is from the article about Ms. Rosen’s talk to the students:

She [Rosen] remembers the sign on the camp gates: “Work will set you free.” She remembers a terrible stench. Death. It is a smell that has followed her through the years, a sensory memory she can’t shake.

The photo below accompanies the article about Ms. Rosen’s talk to the students.

Gate into the Auschwitz main camp.

Gate into the Auschwitz main camp; Sally Rosen was sent to the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau

Photo Credit:  REUTERS /Kacper Pempel

How could Sally Rosen have seen the Arbeit Macht Frei gate at the Auschwitz I camp, as she told the students?  Did the train from the Lodz ghetto arrive first at the main camp, where she was marched though the gate under the iconic sign? No, the train tracks didn’t go to the main camp.

I previously blogged about the meaning of the Arbeit Macht Frei sign here.

In her talk, Ms. Rosen made a big fuss about Holocaust deniers telling lies.  The quote below is from the article:

Ms. Rosen grew tired of people forgetting about a decade ago, tired of people telling lies. She couldn’t stand the stories she would see bubble up in the media about an Ernst Zundel, the German-Canadian hate-monger, or a David Irving, the so-called British historian, or a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the erratic Iranian president, spouting off about the Holocaust.

So Ms. Rosen decided to tell a few lies herself?

What about Joshua, the 8th grade student, who wanted to tell his story to her?  This quote is from the article:

Joshua’s Zadie, or was it his Bubby, [grandfather or grandmother] survived the Holocaust, just like Ms. Rosen did. On the way to Auschwitz they fell deathly ill and were thrown off the train so that the other unwitting concentration-camp-bound passengers wouldn’t contract whatever it was they had. They were left for dead. And yet, somehow, they lived.

Who threw grandpa (or was it grandma) off the train?  The Nazis or the other passengers?  The Nazis would not have cared if all the passengers on a train to a death camp contracted a disease and died.  This would have saved them the cost of the Zyklon-B gas pellets needed to gas the sick prisoners when the train arrived.  The passengers could not have unlocked the doors on the train, because if this had been possible, they would all have jumped off the train.

Prisoners in the Lodz ghetto were among the last of the Jews to be sent to Auschwitz.  This quote is from this website:

On June 10, 1944, Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto. The Nazis told Rumkowski who then told the residents that workers were needed in Germany to repair damage caused by Allied air raids. The first transport left on June 23, with many others following until July 15. On July 15, 1944 the transports halted. The decision had been made to liquidate Chelmno because Soviet troops were getting close. Unfortunately, this only created a two week hiatus, for the remaining transports would be sent to Auschwitz.

On August 4, 1944, a final liquidation transport of 74,000 Jews from Lodz was sent out from the ghetto on its way to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Though a few remaining workers were retained by the Nazis to finish confiscating materials and valuables out of the ghetto, everyone else living in the ghetto had been deported. Even Rumkowski and his family were included in these last transports to Auschwitz.

Five months later, on January 19, 1945, the Soviets liberated the Lodz ghetto.