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The Holocaust was a terrible event that killed many people. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust was an event that persecuted and killed many Jewish people. Some of these Jewish people were able to hide and survive the Holocaust. Some of them were able to make it through concentration camps and live and be freed after the war. This paper will discuss and tell some of the stories of these people and how they were able to survive. It will discuss how the Holocaust and the war changed their lives.
It will also talk about what they encountered during the Holocaust and the many challenges that they had to face. This paper will also talk about their lives after the war.
This paper will argue that the Holocaust was an event that greatly affected many people and that speaking about the dangers of prejudice and racism from their Holocaust experiences has helped some of those people in their endeavor to rebuild their lives.
Kitty Hart-Moxon was born in Bielsko in 1926. Kitty and her family attempted to escape after the invasion of Poland by Germany. They attempted to escape the ghetto they were living in by pretending to be Polish forced laborers. Kitty and her mother were then taken to Germany to work in the IG Farben. They worked there until 1943 when someone betrayed them. After they were betrayed, they were supposed to be put in prison and eventually killed. However, they were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau instead. ( Kitty Hart-Moxon OBE, 2018)
It was April 2, 1943 when Kitty and her mother were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
They would spend many years there before being freed. She talked about many of the hardships about living in this concentration camp. One of the hardships that they faced was that food was very scarce. Food was so scarce that some people at the end of the lines would not get as much food, if any. Another hardship that Kitty had to face was the cold. During the wintertime in Germany, it would become extremely cold. Enduring the extreme cold was even worse considering that they did not have much to cover up with. They were not given any coats or things to keep them warm. A third hardship that she described was the bathrooms. She explained that sometimes, if they were not able to go to the bathroom, they had to use their food bowl to go to the bathroom. After using the bathroom in the food bowl, they would clean it out with the snow.
One of Kitty’s jobs when she first came to Auschwitz was to clean the bathrooms. This job gave her access to the bathrooms rather than having to go to the bathroom in her food bowl. Kitty explained another hardship that would take place regularly in this camp called “selections.” During these “selections” the officers would round up the girls. They would have the doctors examine the girls and make them do certain tasks. This was to evaluate whether they were able to work. If they were unable to complete these tasks, they were sent into a separate building where they would wait to be killed. One of Kitty’s jobs was to drag the bodies of those that were killed out. After about one year of being in this camp, Kitty got another job. She had to sort through the clothes and belongings of the people of the concentration camp. She had this job for eight months. Her mother worked as a nurse.
Kitty and her mother moved to a couple of different concentration camps before they were finally freed. Eventually, both she and her mother were freed after the war. She and her mother were the only members of their immediate family to survive. Her father was murdered. Her brother was killed. Many other family members of hers were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Kitty and her mother were able to relocate to the UK where they had some relatives. This was a very difficult time for Kitty. Trying to readjust to normal life after living in a concentration camp was difficult. Overcoming that past and having no one to listen and help was the most difficult part of readjusting. Kitty realized the importance of speaking about her experiences to prevent such horrible racism in the future. She has spoken in many schools, to the public, on the radio and on television. She wrote two books about her experiences in the Holocaust. She also made a movie about her experiences. ( Kitty Hart-Moxon OBE, 2018
Eugene Black (Jeno Schwartz) was born on February 2, 1928 in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia. His mother had grown up as an orthodox Jew. His father, however, was not Jewish. His father would take him to the synagogue about twice a year, but other than that, the orthodox Jewish religion did not have a very big influence in his life. He had three sisters and one brother, of which Eugene was the youngest. The place that Eugene lived in was given back to the Hungarians in 1938, however, in 1944, the Germans took over Hungary.
After the Germans took over, all the Jews were forced to wear the Star of David, and they were moved into ghettos. Eugene and his family did not have to move because the place that they were currently living in was already within the parameters of the ghetto. He and his family helped others who had to move to the ghetto by letting them live in their house.
One day, when he was 16, as Eugene was coming home from school, he saw German and Hungarian troops by his house. One of them had hit his mother. He was then ordered not to go inside his house. Immediately after this, Eugene and his family were forced into a cattle car. He was on this train for three days. He explained how cramped and crowded it was. He explained how there were people screaming, crying, and dying. The train arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 16th, 1944. He was separated from his family. Eugene was only in Auschwitz for ten days, after which he had been sent to a camp in Buchenwald to be used for slave labor. After this, he was sent to a camp in the Harz mountains called Dora Mittelbau. The job of the forced laborers there was to build rockets in an underground area. While he was there, his job was to load rocks into trucks from the tunnels. He said that he had to work for up to 14 hours at a time. He suffered from starvation and exhaustion, as well as pneumonia. In March of 1945, Eugene was sent to another camp called Bergen Belsen which had horrible conditions. He described this camp as a “hellhole” and that “people were lying all over the place.” On April 15, 1945, the British Army freed this camp. (Eugene Black: Slave Labourer and Camp Survivor, 2018)
After he had been freed, Eugene found out that the only survivor of his family was one of his older brothers. Eugene was only 17 years old when he was freed. He met his wife, Annie, while working as an interpreter for the British army. Meeting his wife and having children gave Eugene hope for the future. He and his wife had four children. In 1949, they moved to England. While in England, Eugene worked in a warehouse, and later as a manager. He shares his Holocaust experiences by speaking in schools, prisons, and to organizations. It was not until 2009 that he found out that his sisters had not actually died in the gas chambers as he had once thought. In fact, his sisters had only been in Auschwitz for three months before being selected for slave labor. They were both killed on September 11, 1944 when the RAF bombed the factory that they had been working in. Eugene died in 2016. (Eugene Black 1928-2016, 2018)
Prior to the Holocaust, Margaret Kagan lived with her family in Kaunas, Lithuania. In June of 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union. Everything in the city was very chaotic when the Germans invaded. Margaret had been attending school in Lithuania at the time that Germany invaded the Soviet Union and Lithuania. At this time, many of the Jewish people left, for fear of concentration camps. Margaret and her family, however stayed. Her brother was at camp and the family did not want to leave him behind. Margaret was taken from her school, which was an all-girls school, and transferred to the boy’s school along with half of the girls from her school. The Germans did this because they did not believe in all boys or all girls schooling. During this time, her father was arrested. In August, the Jewish people were sent to ghettos. They thought that they would be safer here, but they were not. As Margaret talks about the ghetto, she said that it was “dreadful.” They were starving, and there were multiple families living in one house. Conditions were very hopeless.
During her time in the ghetto, Margaret met Joseph Kagan, who would become her future husband. Meeting Joseph had a profound impact on her future. Joseph did what he could to make life in the ghetto more favorable. He had a tent and grew garden so that he could have extra food. He thought that the entire Jewish population would killed. He thought that it was essential for the couple to get married and to go into hiding to survive. After they were married, they escaped their labor detail and began hiding in the attic of a factory. They stayed in hiding for nine months with the help of Lithuanian friends who risked everything to help them. It was very difficult as they had to be silent during the day. They were always under the constant stress and worry of someone finding them and being killed. Margaret’s brother, who was blonde haired and blue eyed was able to stay with a friend who did not live in the ghetto.
In July 1944, the city of Kaunas was freed when the Soviet troops reached the city. Margaret was very joyful to be reunited with her brother. She sadly learned however, that her father was killed early in the war and that her mother had been sent to a concentration camp and had committed suicide while there. Margaret and her husband decided to move to England to start their lives over because Joseph’s father lived there. Joseph and Margaret started a very successful textile company called Kagan Textiles. Joseph invented a new type of cloth called Gannex. The coats that their company made were famous and were even worn by Prince Philip. Margaret worked to help the community as she raised her three children. She remained active in speaking about her experiences during the Holocaust warning people about being prejudice. She also spoke about the courage of the people who helped save many victims of the Holocaust from death by hiding them. Margaret died in 2011. (Margaret Kagan: Life in Hiding, 2018)
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