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I lived in Warsaw during the Holocaust

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Introduction

Holocaust Coursework I lived in Warsaw, in Poland, so was one of the first few to experience the Nazi war machine. They reached my city, the capital, after just 6 days of war. My Jewish friends and I hadn't time to take this all in before we discovered that 'our kind' was being hunted out. So, of course eventually my friends & I were herded into ghettos like sheep. In this situation, we were isolated from the outside world; there were high walls on all sides of this small "village", with only a large, Nazi-controlled gate being our means of getting supplies in and rubbish out. It was so cramped; sometimes half-a-dozen families had to live within one small house. Due to such un-hygienic conditions, disease spread like wildfire, with people coming down with water-borne diseases left right and centre. My family & I lived like this for about a year before the death squads first appeared. They would come into our ghetto, and many others, just to plough through our people with their machine guns. At the time, I thought & hoped that this would be the worst sight I would ever have to witness; I should have known that the Nazis were capable of far worse. ...read more.

Middle

The worst act of theft I witnessed came one night when 2 girls were talking to each other, one on the diplomats' side, and the other on mine. The girl on the other side looked quite well fed, which must've been due to the fact that they can receive red cross parcels over there, but the girl on mine was just skin and bones, as many of us were. The VIP girl threw her latest parcel over the barbed wire to feed her friend back to some sort of strength, but alas! Another Jew caught it and proceeded to run off. I discovered later that she had died, as I looked at her still body while working in the crematoria at Auschwitz. This act shook me to my core. I knew Nazis to be inhuman, as this is the only idea to explain their actions, but what excuse could be made by a fellow Jew, blatantly ignoring God's orders, in order to live another week whilst leading a young girl to her starvation sooner rather than later? If only. I found myself saying this a lot during my time in the camps. These heartless people just needed God, or some sort of religion, and they needed to follow a set of laws by which to live their lives, as the Jews have done for thousands of years. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many incidents of more recent genocides include the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, Rwanda etc. But on the other hand, if people see that we have been suffering throughout our history, the Adolf Hitler's amongst the youth may believe there to be a good, solid reason behind this, & become anti-Semitic themselves. And for all things there has to be a time to let go, maybe it is now, 50 years ago, or 50years in the future, but eventually all past evils have to be let go. Many Jews today don't want to be defined by the Holocaust - they want to assimilate into the wider society. I have seen unimaginable suffering, spent days after days, (which felt more like decades) in a place worse than hell, and seen countless people killed for the simple reason that they were in the minority. It has taken me 40 years to come to terms with the events and to talk about them, but now that I have, I hope my words, & the words of other survivors will always be remembered as proof of the Nazis' horrific, systematic killing of people who lived, acted or were just different from themselves. I am a survivor of hell. People call it the Holocaust, of which I was in the worst death camp of them all: Auschwitz. ...read more.

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