Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER
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A Mother’s Shoah, Poisoned

Poisoned

Months passed by like this, with hard labor being the only constant event of our lives. Food rations became smaller and smaller in the meantime, so it was a miracle that we could still carry on. True, we were provided a half liter of milk every day; except that it was given to us only because it was the only known substance which could neutralize the poisons we were exposed to all day. It would only mitigate the effects of the poisons though, as we were in one state of sickness or another at all times. Nevertheless, without it we’d have been dead a long time ago. God knows, I might even be better off dead, though …

Slave_male_laborers-Dachau1944

Slave laborers in the Dachau weapons plant, 1944

I myself became seriously ill three times from poisoning. The third time I was so gravely ill that I thought my lungs had been totally destroyed. I decided to end my life then and there, instead of living with diseased lungs, if that were to be my fate. I survived this time too, along with the others. Twice, the large grenades we were assembling fell on my hands. The third time I myself caused them to drop on my right hand when I lost consciousness. Since then my hands forecast the weather better than anyone could …