One day a girl named Clara Grossman witnessed her life broken into shambles. She possessed the freedom she wished for, but it was seized out of her hands by Adolf Hitler. She witnessed her own journey first through a ghetto and then the most notorious death camp, Auschwitz. Horrifying scenes and exhausting work left her as a mess. If you were thrown into Clara’s shoes, how would you respond? In 1940, ten years after the Nazis gained authority of Hungary; Hungary established anti-Jewish laws. But four years later, Germany decided to invade Hungary to deplete the last remaining Jewish population in Europe, the Hungarian Jews. At the same time, Auschwitz was becoming an infamous camp where death was a common occurrence. 1.1 million Jews in total were efficiently killed during the Holocaust at Auschwitz. Soon, you will learn the preparations made by Germans to commit genocide and a Hungarian Jew’s experience of the Holocaust.
First, the Germans employed Nazi experts and increased their special squad units. Otto Moll was transferred to Auschwitz to lead the mass murder. (Braham). “Come on, come on, you lazy bastards, get a move on, faster!” Moll would shout to be cruel towards his workers (Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers). The Nazis also hired Rudolf Höss to be commander of Auschwitz (Braham) and Adolf Eichmann to be in charge of the deportation the Hungarian Jews (1944). Also the Special Squad, the Sonderkommando and Canada, were improved drastically by utilizing more prisoners. The Sonderkommando, which operated the crematoriums, was increased from 224 to 860 (Braham). Next, the Canada, which sorted the loot of the gassed prisoners, was increased to more than 1,000 (Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas...
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... home. As a result of learning about the Holocaust, I am propelled to not allow such a thing in history again. If this includes bullying at my school, jokes about a specific race, or even a country’s attempt to exterminate certain people, I will speak up! The effects and conditions the Jews went through are too much and it should never occur again!
Muller, Filip. Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, n.d. 123-133.
"1944." Czech, Danuta. Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945: From the Archives of the Auschwitz Memorial and the German Federal Archives. 1989.
Braham, Randolph L. "Hungarian Jews: Preparatory Work in Auschwitz." Gutman, Yisrael and Michael Berenbaum. Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. n.d. 462-463.
Grossman, Clara. Clara Grossman Audio Testimony Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. 26 August 1999. Audio.