One Survivor Remembers

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One Survivor Remembers

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:42 pm

If you have never seen this short (35 mins.) film featuring Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein, it is simply beyond belief. Not surprisingly, it won an Oscar.

Gerda Weissmann was only 15 when the Nazis invaded Poland. Her beloved older brother was forced into the army not long afterward; she never was able to find out what happened to him.

Gerda and her parents were essentially imprisoned in the basement of their home until late June of 1942 since the house was given to Nazi sympathizers. One of the last things her father told her to do was to find her skiing boots and put them on. She thought it bizarre to be told to wear her ski boots in the summer but did so. He was shipped off that day, and Gerda and her mother the next. She ended up wearing the boots for the next three years and says that without them, she would never have survived the death march that ended in liberation for her and only a few others.

Aware that the war would end soon, in an attempt to conceal their atrocities, the Nazis forced Weissmann and about 2000 other women out into a snowstorm in January of 1945 and eventually marched them 350 miles to Czechoslovakia, a march that ended in May when the Nazis simply dumped the survivors in an abandoned factory building.

I won't spoil her love story by summarizing it, but it's absolutely lovely.

Unbearably affecting. I have her memoir, All But My Life, on reserve at the public library and cannot wait to read it.

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