World War II can easily be called one of the greatest man-made disasters of all time. Undoubtedly, the Holocaust stands out as the most horrific event of this time. Six million Jewish people lost their lives, along with three million Gypsies, Blacks, Homosexuals, and any others not conducive to the construction of Hitler's "perfect race." Concentration camps were utilized for the captivity and processing of the individuals who would, soon after arrival, be tortured inside their walls. Auschwitz is the most infamous death camp of the Holocaust. Though many Nazi guards and officers participated in the torturing, the most demented affliction came from the "Angel of Death," Dr. Joseph Mengele.
A visit from Dr. Mengele was one of the worst things that could have happened to anyone. He inspected people from top to bottom. In some cases if there was even a red spot on one's skin he would have him/her sent away to be executed. Dr. Mengele was very cruel to most children. He would do things such as draw lines on a wall at approximately 5 feet and 2 inches. If, in the unfortunate case, a child's head did not touch the line, he or she would be punished by death.
Dr. Mengele's sickness knew no bounds. Cases have been documented wherein he would take a set of twins and perform his own twisted experiments; the objectives of which being unknown. For instance, he supervised an operation in which gypsy twins were sewn together to create Siamese twins. He injected a 10-year-old Romanian girl named Eva with a lethal cocktail of bacteria. She found a way to overcome her illness to save her sister Miriam. If Mengele's experiment killed one twin, he quickly decided that he would have nothing better to do with the other, so he had the remaining twin "disposed of." There are too many examples of this sick manís twisted and demented experiments to list them all.
Agnes Tennenbaum was a citizen of Hungary at the time of the Holocaust. Agnes is one of the survivors of the hellish nightmare called Auschwitz and the terrible inspection from Dr. Mengele. She was 17 years old when she and her mother were loaded onto a cattle train that was headed straight for Auschwitz. There was only one small window on the car and the doors were bolted shut from the outside. The people were packed in like sardines in a can; there was not even enough room for people to sit. They were on the train for three days. There was no food, no water, and no bathroom facilities. Agnes said that she had never felt a thirst like that before in her life. She would have given anything for a drink of water. Many people died on these trains. They died from disease caused by the poor hygiene. When the train stopped she pushed herself through the crowd to the tiny window and the sign that said "Auschwitz Ė Birkinau."
Agnes had a tight grasp on her motherís hand when she was getting off the train. Then all of a sudden her mother had been pushed to the left and she was on the right. She had been selected to go work and her mother had been sent to the chambers. Soon after she was separated from her mother she found a few of her cousins and an aunt. They had decided that the only way to survive was to stick to gather. The people on the right were then directed into a building where they were ordered to strip and then all body hair was doffed from them. They were stripped and shaved in front of a multitude of male and female guards. Many of the guards laughed and pointed at the young women as they were being put through this humiliation.
Agnes was inspected by Dr. Mengele. She said that he was one of the most handsome men she had ever seen. Sadly, his evil was slightly camouflaged by his good looks. She was sent to work in a munitions factory. She learned how to make mines and bombs. One day a commander came to the factory that she had been assigned to work in. He told the women that they were going to be sent to the gas chambers because they did such a poor job. The bombs and mines that they made were not exploding. They were never sent away to the Chambers. The girls lived on and continued doing forced labor without sufficient food, water, clothes, or bathroom facilities.
Sometime later the Russians began to invade and Agnes was devising a plan of escape. Unfortunately, she had no way to get out, yet. When the Nazis realized how close the Americans were getting they moved the prisoners out of the camps as quickly as they could. One day while marching through a small village Agnes and her cousin decided to break away from the group and run to a nearby field to hide. Later that day the girls found an empty born that was perfect for a hiding place. The girls fell asleep in the piles of hay. They slept all through the night to awake the next morning with a rifle in their faces.
The young man holding the rifle inquired as to who they were. Agnes promptly told him to put away the rifle and then he will have his answer. He lowered his rifle and then told them that he was a French former prisoner of war. When he found out that they had just come from Auschwitz he took them back to his camp and fed them. They were very grateful to him. A few days later some American soldiers came by in a truck. Agnes asked one of them to send a message to some of her family in New York. She wanted them to know she was doing well. She gave him the address. He guaranteed that her family would get the letter. It was because he lived two blocks from the address she gave him.
She finally got to the United States quite a few years later. She has moved around quite a bit and is now living in Mobile, Alabama. She said that she enjoys it here very much. She also said that she would not go back to hungry. She has published a few short stories and some poetry. She hopes to publish her book very soon. She hopes that people will learn from the Holocaust and never let anything like it happen again. Some people claim that the Holocaust never happened. It has been proven that six million Jews were brutally murdered along with three million Blacks, Homosexuals, Gypsies, children, and crippled. The one lesson that everyone should take from the Holocaust is that hate can be a powerful thing. Man was born to love, but man can easily learn to hate.