Connecting with Holocaust survivors is an overwhelming experience. Every single survivor has a unique and captivating story to tell. Their experiences include recalling memories from life in the ghettos in addition to working in slave labor, life in fear and hiding, surviving the concentration camps and their arrival to other countries as refugees.
Life in the camps was never easy, all survivors agree. With the loss of family members and fear of being executed on any given day, they went to bed every night in fear. Some still don’t believe that they have made it. Most survivors had a decent life before the war. They were living as part of the community in Germany and other countries that later fell under the reign of Hitler. Some had prestigious jobs and lives that vanished in a blink of an eye. There was nowhere to hide. They had to give up everything they had if they wanted to stay alive.
They had to watch their business, houses and all their belongings confiscated and given to other people. Regardless of their status in the society, they had to work as slaves with no medical care or the minimum requirements of a decent living. The trauma was severe and many survivors still remember the emotional pain they had to endure. They had to choose a very few things to pack if they wanted to stay alive and had to watch out for their existence. The Nazi government forced citizens to give information about their Jewish neighbors who have never caused them any harm.
People didn’t know what to expect at the camps. They probably thought that it was some sort of a refugees’ camp. But the truth was way gorier. Families were torn apart, where children were sent first to the gas chambers. The Nazi’s main goal was to ensure that there will be no future for the Jews by killing their children. Still, some of them made it to safety and are now old enough to tell the story.
The past still haunts the victims although they managed to survive it all. Their main goal remains to tell the truth to the world and to ensure that somehow the late victims will get their voices heard.