Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Holocaust survivors visit Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 2018. I held my torch in my left hand and with my right, I had to busy myself with the pliers. In all, 25,483 Jews and 351 Roma were deported from Kazerne Dossin. Some had escaped from the opened wagon and the mood among the remaining deportees had changed. Chana Gronowski was sent to the gas chambers on arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Train tracks converge at the entrance to the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. But then I gave myself a jolt on the basis that if you have started something you should go through with it. Having discovered the departure date of the next transport train to Auschwitz, resistance fighter Youra Livchitz and two school friends organized a raid and pulled off one of the most daring rescues of the enitre war.These three lone men freed seventeen men and women before the German guards opened fire. But as a Holocaust survivor, Mr. Gronowski had faced death more intimately before. "I didn't really understand what was going on and what deportation would mean. I hummed In the Mood to calm myself, which was a song my sister used to play on the piano," he says. The policeman, Jan Aerts had guessed Simon came from the Auschwitz convoy. After stumbling upon an amazing photograph at WWII veteran's home, a history teacher from a small New York town embarks on a search to discover the extraordinary rescue story behind it. Jan Aerts was declared a "Righteous Gentile" by the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem. “The nineteenth train departed the Mechelen camp on the fifteenth of January,” his uncle continued. Just finished reading "The Auschwitz Escape" by Joel C Rosenberg. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. "The brakes made a hellish noise and at first I was petrified. For more than 50 years he hardly spoke about his past but Maxime Steinberg, a Belgian historian and specialist in the persecution of Jews in Belgium, persuaded him to write a book. A … Auschwitz, poland, world war 2, concentration camp victims after disembarking from a freight train at the station near the camp. I remember feeling surprised that it could go so fast with 35 cars being towed. At one point one guy is speaking and it was so American it sounded like someone from down south in the bible belt. “According to my sources, some sixteen thousand Jews have been deported to date. "My mother held me by my shirt and my shoulders. This week’s Op-Doc is Matan Rochlitz’s powerful film “I Have a Message for You,” about a woman’s extraordinary journey of survival and redemption. Simon Gronowski, an 11-year-old Jewish boy in 1943, was one of the few who managed to escape a train headed for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Leon Gronowski died within months of the end of the war. Robert Maistriau was arrested in March 1944. I love his books and though this is not his best it is certainly a gripping tale. Votes: 8,731 | Gross: $0.15M He has children and grandchildren. "I wanted to go back to my mother but the Germans were coming down the track towards me. A … "For the smallest infraction, we could be beaten up and locked in a cell until we were deported. Cool air flowed into the stifling, crowded carriage. He was 93. He accompanied Lederer out of the camp, and the two men traveled together to the Protectorate of Bohemia and … Built facing the actual transit centre - now an apartment block - the museum cost 25 million euros and was financed by the Flemish government. But resistance fighters stopped the train. Chana Gronowski was sent to the gas chambers on arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau. 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On the train, shock spread from face to face, reality replacing the long-whispered rumor. "I was used to the woods because I'd been in the cub scouts. "I wanted to go back to my mother but the Germans were coming down the track towards me. Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP / Getty Images Holocaust survivor Moshe Aelion at the old railway station in Thessaloniki, Greece, on March 18, 2018, during a commemoration marking the departure of the first train from the northern Greek city to Auschwitz. The Holocaust’s Great Escape ... He’d watched as the Nazis sent first hundreds and then thousands of Jews by train or truck or on foot to a camp in the forest. Cool air flowed into the stifling, crowded carriage. Outside, the vast camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau sprawled across more than 400 acres of Poland’s southern countryside. Simon's sister Ita, 18, arrived in Auschwitz on the next but one convoy, and also died there. It was unique in being the only convoy from which there was what could be called a mass breakout. "The sight of this man in his uniform with his gun in his belt, terrorised me. As for the three young Belgian Resistance members who stopped the train, Youra Livschitz was captured later and executed. and then Schnell Schnell flehen Sie! .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. How a handful of Belgian Jews escaped from a train heading to Auschwitz with the help of the resistance. For more than 50 years he hardly spoke about his past but Maxime Steinberg, a Belgian historian and specialist in the persecution of Jews in Belgium, persuaded him to write a book. It was unique in being the only convoy from which there was what could be called a mass breakout. Robert Maistriau, one of the resistance members, recalled that terrifying moment later in his memoirs. But then at a certain moment, I felt the train slow down. Simon was reunited that night with his father, a shopkeeper, although they spent the remaining years of the war hidden separately by Catholic families. While in operation between June 1940 and January 1945 only 196 of the 928 men, women and children who attempted to escape from Auschwitz concentration camp were successful. Leo Bretholz, 93; escaped French train to Auschwitz. I told my mother: 'Now I can jump.' The Holocaust’s Great Escape ... He’d watched as the Nazis sent first hundreds and then thousands of Jews by train or truck or on foot to a camp in the forest. In this photo, taken in 1945, the tracks are strewn with snow-covered personal effects … The Israeli premiere of 72-year-old Lindwer’s film, The Train Journey, at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on January 28 (6:30 p.m.), is part of this year’s International Holocaust Day events. Simon Gronowski paid his way through university. ", But the train slowed to a stop for a second time that night and the German guards began shooting again, this time in Simon's direction. Vacant eyes stared through barbed wire and barking dogs fought the leash. I shouted Sortez Sortez! I hummed In the Mood to calm myself, which was a song my sister used to play on the piano," he says. After a brief shooting battle between the German train guards and the three Resistance members, the train started again. Most of the prisoners knew they would be deported but had no idea, Gronowski says, that they would be executed en masse. Read about Escaping the Train to Auschwitz by Witness and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. Conditions inside the train were atrocious. There was a pale gleam coming from a vent in the roof but it was stifling and there was no water to be had.". Together, they must put together the necessary supplies in the camp without being caught, manage to get outside the wires without getting shot, and then make their way to the Resistance in Slovakia. We had only one bucket for 50 people. The doors to the car are nailed shut, further preventing escape. On 18 April, Simon and 1,630 others, including his mother, Chana, were informed they would be deported by train the next day. George Ginzburg. Death camp: The snow-covered train tracks lead to the gas chambers of the Auschwitz concentration camp. "My parents had made a mistake - only one, but a serious one, which was… to have been born Jewish - a crime that, at the time, could only be punished by death," he says. Show more. In 1943, a group of Belgian Jews escaped from a train bound for the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. I shouted Sortez Sortez! Today he lives in Brussels and still practises law. 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