Wednesday, 6 January 2016

I punched a hole in a wall and escaped being gassed

Four more Holocaust survivors from Elie Wiesel's home-town of Sighet.
Klara Wizel (2nd from left), who was tattooed with the number A-7845 at Auschwitz-Birkenau on June 28, 1944, pictured with her two sisters—both of whom also survived Auschwitz—and brother Lazar, who survived the Holocaust by moving to Russia before it started.

In the 2014 book Auschwitz Escape: The Klara Wizel Story by Danny Naten and R. J. Gifford, we learn that during November 1944 a 17 year-old Wizel and approximately seventy other sickly-looking women and girls were selected for the gas chambers by the notorious Dr. Mengele whilst conducting an inspection of their barracks. 
They were marched immediately to the "bathhouse", where Wizel was given a black dress to wear, and they were all told to take a seat in the stadium-esque seating in the room (p.109) After a few hours, five big German guards burst in and ordered the women out:

We walked for a short period, until we came to a smaller brick-style building where we were shoved inside. Again, we were told to wait. A small bit of relief permeated the room. People gasped when they realized this wasn't the gas chamber but a small holding room next to it. But, I knew now, this was the end. The next door waiting for us, the next door we would go through would be the door entering the Auschwitz gas chamber. (p.112)

Despite being aware that they were in waiting-room for a homicidal gas chamber, except for Wizel, all seventy-odd of the other women and girls soon fell asleep.

I walked around and touched the walls. They were made of bricks, but not real bricks. They were the inferior kinds that were more dirt or adobe (earth and straw) than cement. Yes, I knew bricks from the days in my family’s dry goods business. I found a window out of view of the door, with bars, and I pushed on one of the bricks to see if I could get it to move. It didn't budge. I tried another, but again, nothing. Then I noticed that there were marks where it looked like another prisoner had dug around the bottom of one of the bricks. My hands shook, but I pushed and pulled at that brick.
I switched to rocking it back and forth, and it started to move. Once it was free, I used it to chip at the others. It took no time at all. The other bricks just pulled out, one after another. It was such a small passage, but my slender body slid under the iron, and I scrambled through the space, into the night.
I had escaped! I felt the fresh, cold air and a release from the horror. I wanted to live now, with all my heart. The freedom was so quick, so sudden, and so new that I forgot about dying. In a way, I had already died, so moving forward became the only option. I was still in the middle of the prison camp, and I still had an ordered death sentence from Mengele. They had my number. They had written it down. It was only a matter of time before they put me back into that room.

Wizel then escaped from Auschwitz-Birkenau by sneaking onto a train that was transferring 100 female prisoners to the womens forced-labour camp Mährisch Weisswasser (= Moravian White-Water; now in the Czech Rep.), a sub-camp of Gross-Rosen. On her arrival the Germans immediately put her in the camp hospital.

In her Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945 (H. Holt & Co: 1990) Danuta Czech details several separate transfers, totalling nearly 700 female Birkenau prisoners, to Gross-Rosen during November 1944, but for obvious reasons she doesn't list each of prisoner number (pp. 743-756). Wizel was possibly on one of these transports, if she did actually leave Birkenau during November 1944, and there is likely a document in the Auschwitz museum proving it.
Wizel's claim to have escaped Auschwitz is highly improbable, and her story about escaping a gas chamber waiting-room is obviously a complete fabrication. None of the alleged gas chambers at Birkenau had a mud-brick waiting-room as per her description, and regardless, according to the orthodox narrative: gassings ceased at Birkenau on November 2, 1944 (Ibid, p.743).

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