Children victims of the Holocaust, Jews, Roma, but also Germans. The testimonies of those who survived the Holocaust
Children victims of the Holocaust
The January 27 an international anniversary is celebrated to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. And the Remembrance Day, an opportunity to give a voice to the survivors of the genocide of the Jews, to sensitize the new generations and to remember what was one of the greatest and most terrible tragedies in the history of humanity. And PianetaMamma on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance wants to remember the children victims ofHolocaust, telling their stories and the testimonies of those who managed to survive deportations and concentration camps.
What does Holocaust mean? This word indicates the genocide of the Jews of Europe carried out by Nazi Germany and its allies in the second half of the twentieth century, a genocide that caused the death of 15 million people. Holocaust derives from the ancient Greek “burned entirely“And was originally used to indicate the purest form of sacrifice in Judaism, in Hebrew the more correct term for the Holocaust is Shoa, which in Hebrew means “catastrophe, destruction”.
It is estimated that over one and a half million children they were killed during the Holocaust, in concentration camps or in reprisals and deportations. They were not only Jews, but also Poles, Roma, Soviets and children of other nationalities who lived in the countries that were occupied by the Germans. Most of the small victims had less than 13 years old because the larger ones could be directed to forced labor or be used as guinea pigs for medical experiments.
What was the life of a Jewish child like during the German occupation?
The children who lived in the ghettos they often died for malnutrition, of cold or some disease because the living conditions inside the ghettos were on the verge of survival. A child could be arrested together with his family and deported to a concentration camp where, together with the elderly and sick or physically weak people, he was directly taken to the gas chambers, it could be killed immediately before the arrest or it could be used for work or for medical experiments, finally, the luckiest ones could find refuge and protection thanks to some family member or neighbor who hid them.
In any case, children’s lives during those years were terrible, difficult and extremely at risk.
Children deported to concentration camps
The children arrived in the concentration camps after a very long time travel on the train where there were hundreds of people crowded together, in the dark and cold, unaware of where they were going. The railroad track reached right into the fields, and once the doors of the wagons were opened they were faced with the desolation of the snow, the shacks, the barbed wire and at the bottom the crematory ovens perpetually in operation, from which a nauseating smoke came out and disturbing. Men were separated from women, children, the elderly. Seniors, women and children were often taken directly to the crematoria, the larger ones being sent to forced labor.
Jewish children victims of experiments
Many children, especially those with particular physical characteristics or couples of Gemini, were used inside the Nazi concentration camps for completely useless medical experiments without any scientific basis, and often these experiments caused the death of the children in excruciating suffering.
Irene, Rene, and her mother were deported first to the Theresienstadt ghetto and then to Auschwitz, where the twins were separated and used for medical experiments.
There was one of the most ferocious Nazi criminals Josef Mengele who in Birkenau set up a laboratory to carry out medical experiments on twins, in order to demonstrate the superiority of the Aryan race.
His terrible experiments were performed on Gypsy and Jewish children. The Italian was also a victim of his madness Sergio De Simone, who died at the age of seven atrociously, in the basement of a Hamburg school, after having undergone a lymph node removal operation and being infected with the tuberculosis bacillus.
Testimonies of the Holocaust
The children who managed to survive the Holocaust and the extermination camps have spent most of their lives telling what had happened, raising awareness around the world, working hard so that the new generations could know what had happened.
Their audio and video testimonials over the years they have been collected in numerous archives around the world and represent a precious resource for informing future generations and ensuring that such a thing never happens again. Here are some of the children who were able to tell their Holocaust.
wrote his famous Diary in which the genocide of the Jews unfolds in all its drama, from his life that flowed normally to the days when he had to hide with his family, up to his deportation to the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau and subsequently in that of Bergen-Belsen, where he died.
- The transfer of children (Kindertransport)
Between 1938 and 1940 a huge rescue operation took place called the Child Transfer: …