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April 23, 2016

How an 11-year-old Jewish boy was saved from the gas chamber twice by his father

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:50 am
2005 photo of the remains of the Birkenau camp

2005 photo of remains of Birkenau camp

The following quote is from this news article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/holocaust-survivor-saskatoon-auschwitz-1.3540381

The article tells the story of how an 11-year-old boy was saved twice, by his father, from a gas chamber in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Normally, an 11-year-old boy would have stayed with his mother at Birkenau, not with his father, while waiting for his turn to be gassed.

Women and children waiting to go into the gas chamber at Birkenau

Women and children waiting to go into the gas chamber at Birkenau

The women and children in the photo above are looking across the road toward the Sauna in Birkenau where the incoming Jews took a shower, and their clothing was disinfected with Zyklon-B.

There were 4 large homicidal gas chambers at the 425-acre Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, plus two old farmhouses where Jews were routinely  gassed with the deadly poison called Zyklon-B, which was also used to kill lice.

Ruins of Krema II gas chamber

Ruins of Krema II gas chamber

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

Begin quote

Seventy-one years after the Holocaust, a concentration camp survivor told his story about his father saved his life while at the deadly concentration camp Auschwitz.

On Sunday, Nate Leipciger, 88, shared his remarkable survivor story at the annual Saskatoon Holocaust Memorial at the Agudas Israel Synagogue on McKinnon Avenue in Saskatoon [Canada].

He told the packed room how, as a boy in Auschwitz, he didn’t fully grasp what the Nazis had in store for the Jews.

“At 11 years old, I had no idea that the Nazis are going to murder us,” Leipciger said. “Not even when I was standing in front of the gas chamber in Auschwitz, did it occur to me that my life was going to be in danger.”

The article continues with this quote:

Begin Quote

He [Nate Leipciger] told the audience how at one point, he found himself in line for the deadly gas chamber. But his father acted fast, pulling Leipciger out of the lineup, taking him into the concentration camp, where he then saw the unforgiving labour camps and conditions men and women lived in.

That’s when we found out what they were doing to our people, they told us, that our people are now being processed in the gas chamber and that our lifespan in Birkenau was four months–either we get shipped out to Germany or we will end up in the gas chamber. Not a very good future.”

His father’s second heroic moment came when the Nazis were ready to ship Leipciger’s father to a factory in Germany, but his father made a case to a Nazi officer to bring his son along with him.

“At the risk of his own life my father approached [a Nazi officer] and begged him to let me go with him to Germany to a factory and that’s how I was saved from certain death of gassing at Auschwitz,” Leipciger said.

End quote

My photo of a fence that divided the men's camp from the wo

My photo of a fence that divided sections of the Birkenau camp

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is huge, covering 425 acres. The boundaries of the Birkenau camp stretch a mile in one direction and a mile and a half in the other direction. When construction, on the camp, was completed, it had over 300 buildings with a capacity of 200,000 prisoners. The entire Birkenau camp was enclosed by an electrified barbed wire fence around the perimeter of the camp.

The interior of the camp was divided into nine sections and each section was surrounded by another electrified barbed wire fence. Men and women were in separate sections, and the younger children stayed in the women’s section. An 11-year-old boy would probably have been put into the women’s camp.

Young boys walking out of the Birkenau camp after it was liberated

Young boys walking out of the Birkenau camp after it was liberated

There were many young boys, aged 11 or younger, who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau.