A 90-year-old woman who survived the Holocaust when she was a little girl claimed that she played dead as she lay among corpses in Auschwitz to save her life.
Eva Szepesi, aged 90, from the city of Frankfurt, in Hesse, Germany, and her family lived in a suburb in the city of Budapest, Hungary, before her father was taken to one of Nazi Germany’s notorious labour camps.
She recalled: “My friends stopped playing with me. Once they got a piece of meat and said: ‘Soon your father will be as bloody as this piece of meat.'”
Shortly after, her family closed their menswear store in the city centre and her mother sent 11-year-old Eva to her aunt’s home in Slovakia to hide her from the Nazis.
While saying her farewells, her mum reportedly hugged her like never before and said: “You are going to Slovakia with your aunt. Play deaf mute. Then no one will know where you are from..”
But despite hiding with acquaintances, Hitler’s soldiers discovered her hiding place, after which she was taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at the age of 11 in the city of Oswiecim in occupied Poland in 1944.
She said: “I was deported to Auschwitz in a cattle car and survived because I said I was 16, so I was able to work.
“I lay passed out between corpses for days until the Russians liberated the concentration camp on 27th January 1945.”
She was then reportedly rescued by a Russian soldier and made it among one of the around 400 ‘child survivors’ who got through the prisoner-of-war camps as children.
The rest of her family members were reportedly all killed in the death camps.
Reports claimed that over 44,000 concentration camps and incarceration sites were established by Hitler and his allies during World War II.
Following the liberation, she reportedly moved to Germany, where she met her husband and added: “I have two daughters, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. It’s a gift.”
Photographer Rafael Herlich, 69, who followed the lives of Eva and 35 other Jewish families for four decades, said: “We want to bring the project to schools. Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, it will be shown for the first time in the Woehlerschule [Gymnasium school in Frankfurt, Germany].
“Eva Szepesi will also come.”
Eva, who explained she frequently goes to local schools to tell her story, said: “I give a voice to those who died innocently. I survived so I can tell everything.
“I talk to them about the fact that everyone can do something against anti-Semitism.
“I declare that the Holocaust did not begin with Auschwitz.”
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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