World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

The Nazis and Children 

Unknown sources

Children At Auschwitz

The young Jewish girl, Eva Münzer, was born 1936 in The Hague, where her father owned a men's clothing store.

After the German occupation of The Netherlands, the Münzer family remained in their home and endured the ever more repressive measures inflicted on the Jewish population.

On February 8, 1944, eight-year-old Eva and her sister Leana were deported to Auschwitz, where they were killed three days later.


A slightly different version of this story:

Two Jewish sisters, Eva and Leana Münzer, pose with dolls. Their parents left them in the care of a Catholic family. Sometime after the Munzers were deported, a dispute arose between the husband and wife of the family hiding the two Münzer girls that resulted in the husband denouncing his wife and the Jewish children to the SS. The three were immediately arrested and sent to Westerbork. On February 8, 1944 the girls were deported to Auschwitz, where they were killed three days later. from the image archives

During World War 2 a conscience-stricken SS officer Kurt Gerstein visited the death camps and witnessed the mass gassing of Jewish men, women and children. He left one of the most horrifying testimonies of the Holocaust:
"I see everything! The mothers, their babies at the breast, the little naked children, the men and women, naked. They enter into the death chamber, pushed by the leather whips of the SS. Pack well, that is what the captain ordered. Seven to eight hundred persons on twenty-five square meters. More than half are children."

The Jewish Children of Izieu

The little children were deported to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and murdered immediately upon arrival. Of the forty-four children kidnapped by the Nazis in Izieu, not a single one survived. Of the supervisors there was one sole survivor, twenty-seven year old Lea Feldblum.

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, who brought Klaus Barbie to justice in 1983, later wrote:
"Forty-four children deported - no mere statistic, but rather forty-four tragedies which continue to cause us pain ..."

Like little Georges Halpern, who was being sheltered with other children in The Children's Home in Izieu in the hope that the Nazis would not find them. The little boy wrote to his mother:

"Chere Maman, I send you 10000000000 kisses. Your son who loves you very much. There are big mountains and the village is very pretty. There are a lot of farms and we look for blackberries and raspberries and white mulberries. I hug you with all my heart. Georgy."

   Or little Liliane Gerenstein who wrote a letter to God before she was sent to her death:

"God? How good You are, how kind and if one had to count the number of goodnesses and kindnesses You have done, one would never finish.

God? It is You who command. It is You who are justice, it is You who reward the good and punish the evil.

God? It is thanks to You that I had a beautiful life before, that I was spoiled, that I had  lovely things that others do not have.

God? After that, I ask You one thing only: Make my parents come back, my poor parents protect them (even more than You protect me) so that I can see them again as soon as possible.

Make them come back again. Ah! I had such a good mother and such a good father! I have such faith in You and I thank You in advance."


From Jewish Virtual Library


The sleepy village of Izieu lay overlooking the Rhone River between Lyon and Chambery in central France. Refugees from Herault were the first arrivals at the Children's home, officially named Settlement for Refugee Children from Herault, and their Jewish identity was kept secret by the staff. The children, aged between 3 and 18, felt safe and secure, supervised by seven adults.

The Children's Home was a perfect idyll and the Jewish children led a happy life with plenty of time for playing, drawing and painting. Often one of the young boys entertained his companions by making movies, paintings on transparent paper and scrolled past a lighted box.

Sketches made by children of Izieu

In his unforgettable book The Children Of Izieu: A Human Tragedy the author Serge Klarsfeld, who devoted much of his adult life to hunting Nazis and bringing them to justice, tells how the newspaper Les Allobroges, upon the inauguration of the memorial at Izieu on April 7, 1946, wrote:

"They faced the future with a smile. It took only a handful of brutes to reduce their hopes to nought ..."

In his heartbreaking book Serge Klarsfeld, who brought the Butcher Of Lyons Klaus Barbie to justice in 1983, gives us a picture of daily life at the Children's Home of Izieu: After the war a letter from eight-year-old Georges Halpern was found - it tells how the children get up at seven, have cocoa with bread and jam at breakfast, for lunch sometimes soup, vegetables, dessert, and for afternoon snacks milk with bread and chocolate; how they take a nap every afternoon; how they go for hikes on Thursdays and Sundays; how they pick mulberries and blackberries; that they have a dog ..

However, on the morning of April 6, 1944 - a warm day, no clouds, bright sun - as they all settled down in the refectory to drink hot chocolate, three vehicles, two of which were lorries, pulled up in front of the home. The Gestapo, led by the Butcher of Lyon Klaus Barbie, entered the home and forcibly removed the children and their supervisors, throwing the crying and terrified children on to the trucks like sacks of potatoes.

Then the SS men ransacked the house and several more children were discovered hiding under a table in the attic classroom. In the confusion one small boy began racing across the courtyard, but the SS men grabbed him and beat him with rifle butts. Blood streamed from his nose as he was thrown into the truck. The last child, a blond boy of 3, too terrified to walk, was carried into the truck.

As a witness, Leon Reifman, later recalled: 'I was on my way down the stairs when my sister shouted to me: it's the Germans, save yourself! I jumped out the window. I hid myself in a bush in the garden. I heard the cries of the children that were being kidnapped and I heard the shouts of the Nazis who were carrying them away...'

Following the raid on their home in Izieu, the children were taken directly to the cellar of the Fort Montluc Prison in Lyons. The very next morning Klaus Barbie arranged for the cattle cars that would take the children to the 'collection center' in Drancy. Then they were put on the first available train towards the death camps in the East.


Forty-two children and five adults were gassed in the extermination camp of Auschwitz. Two of the oldest children and Miron Zlatin, the superintendent, ended up in Tallin in Estonia and were put to death by a firing squad.

Of the forty-four children kidnapped by the Nazis in Izieu, not a single one survived. Of the supervisors there was one sole survivor, twenty-seven year old Lea Feldblum. When the children from Izieu arrived in Auschwitz on April 15, 1944, Léa led the column of children to the selection point. When she informed the SS that these children were from a home, she was ruthlessly separated from them and sent to the prisoners' camp.

Holocaust Children

At the trial of Klaus Barbie a witness, Edith Klebinder, testified that the children were put to death immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz. She was an Austrian-born Jew and was deported from France to Auschwitz April, 1944, and arrived at the death camp on April 15 aboard the same train as the Izieu children. The Nazi guards ordered Klebinder, who was fluent in French and German, to translate as they ordered children and pregnant women onto trucks and told the other arrivals to walk to the camp.

Edith Klebinder - in a voice choked with emotion - told she at first thought the children and pregnant women were given rides to the camp out of compassion. Later, she said, she asked what had become of the children:     

'I asked myself where were the children who arrived with us? In the camp there wasn't a single child to be seen. Then those who had been there for a while informed us of the reality. 'You see that chimney, the one smoke never stops coming out of  ..  you smell that odor of burned flesh ...'


Jean-Claude, Richard,
and Jacques Benguigui

Jacques Benguigui was born on April 13, 1931, in Oran, Algeria, but the family moved to Marseilles, France, shortly before WW2. His mother was deported to Auschwitz in Poland on July 31, 1943, and Jacques and his two younger brothers, Richard, six years old, and Jean-Claude, who was five, were sent to be sheltered in  the Children's home of Izieu.

While in Izieu Jacques wrote a letter to his mother:

"O Maman, my dear Maman, I know how much you've suffered on my account and on this happy occasion of Mother's Day I send you from afar my best wishes from the bottom of my little heart. So far from you, darling Maman, I've done everything I could to make you happy: when you've sent packages, I've shared them with the children who have no parents. Maman, my dear Maman, I leave you with hugs and kisses. Your son who adores you. Jacques"

Georges Halpern

Another child of Izieu was eight-year-old Georges Halpern, born October 30, 1935 in Vienna. After the war a letter to his parents was found - the little boy wrote: 

"Chere Maman, I send you 10000000000 kisses your son who loves you very much. There are big mountains and the village is very pretty. There are a lot of farms and we look for blackberries and raspberries and white mulberries. I hug you with all my heart. Georgy."


Alice-Jacqueline Luzgart

Alice-Jacqueline Luzgart was born October 8, 1933, in Paris. The ten-year-old girl wrote this letter to her mother Sarah a few months before the Nazi raid at the Children's Home at Izieu. She was deported to Auschwitz and murdered immediately upon arrival:

"Dearest Mommy,

It made me very happy to get your letter of the 18th. I hope you have gotten the letter I sent you a few days ago at la Tagnière.

I am in good health, and I hope the same goes for you as well for Mr. and Mrs. Barbier.

Thank you for picking up clogs for me and I'll be nice and warm, won't I, Mommy.

The snow is melting here, and the sun is peeking through, we can see that spring is sure to be here soon. What luck, spring is so pretty, with its trees and flowers, also its buds. I imagine you have gotten the letter in which I asked you to take some photos of where you are, because I no longer remember what the country is like, but you mustn't forget that I was really little when I was there.

Like you told me, I'm sending kind regards to Mrs. Bouvresse.

I will be very happy to write her a little note one day. I'm convinced that it would make her happy, don't you think so, my dear little Mommy, as well as Aunt Henriette. 

I am going to get a package from Fanny with the blue checked shirt.

Since I can't find anything else to tell you, I will say good-bye, hugging you with all my might. Do give my regards to Mr. and Mrs. Barbier.

Your little daughter, who is thinking of you.


On April 1, 1944, Alice-Jacqueline writes to her sister Fanny:

"... I chose accountant, but, you know, my girlfriend chose a nicer profession than I did, she wants to be a student-midwife in the maternity ward when she grows up. She told me she’d like to operate on the mothers to bring little children into the world because she likes little babies. Don’t you think that’s a fine profession? Maybe I’ll change my mind and copy her.

Tell me what you wanted to do when you were little, Fanny ..."


Klaus Barbie

After the Nazi raid Klaus Barbie sent a telex to Gestapo headquarters in Paris declaring that the children's colony at Izieu had been removed and arrangements made for the deportation of its residents. The full text, which contains mistakes about the children's ages and apparently counted three of the oldest children among the adults arrested, reads:

"This morning, the Jewish children's home, Children's Colony, at Izieu has been removed. 41 children in all, aged 3 to 13, have been captured. Beyond that, the arrest of all the Jewish personnel has taken place, namely 10 individuals, among them 5 women. It was not possible to secure any money or other valuables. Transportation to Drancy will take place on 4/7/44. Signed Klaus Barbie."




Sami Adelsheimer, 5 
Hans Ament, 10 
Nina Aronowicz, 11 
Max-Marcel Balsam, 12 
Jean-Paul Balsam, 10 
Esther Benassayag, 12 
Elie Benassayag, 10 
Jacob Benassayag, 8 
Jacques Benguigui, 12 
Richard Benguigui, 7 
Jean-Claude Benguigui, 5 
Barouk-Raoul Bentitou, 12 
Majer Bulka, 13 
Albert Bulka, 4 
Lucienne Friedler, 5 
Egon Gamiel, 9 
Maurice Gerenstein, 13 
Liliane Gerenstein, 11 
Henri-Chaïm Goldberg, 13 
Joseph Goldberg, 12 
Mina Halaunbrenner, 8
Claudine Halaunbrenner, 5
Georges Halpern, 8 
Arnold Hirsch, 17 
Isidore Kargeman, 10 
Renate Krochmal, 8 
Liane Krochmal, 6 
Max Leiner, 8 
Claude Levan-Reifman, 10
Fritz Loebmann, 15 
Alice-Jacqueline Luzgart, 10 
Paula Mermelstein, 10 


Marcel Mermelstein, 7 
Theodor Reis, 16 
Gilles Sadowski, 8 
Martha Spiegel, 10 
Senta Spiegel, 9 
Sigmund Springer, 8 
Sarah Szulklaper, 11 
Max Tetelbaum, 12 
Herman Tetelbaum, 10 
Charles Weltner, 9 
Otto Wertheimer, 12 
Emile Zuckerberg, 5

Renate Krochmal, 8 
Liane Krochmal, 6 
Max Leiner, 8 
Claude Levan-Reifman, 10
Fritz Loebmann, 15 
Alice-Jacqueline Luzgart, 10 
Paula Mermelstein, 10 
Marcel Mermelstein, 7 
Theodor Reis, 16 
Gilles Sadowski, 8 
Martha Spiegel, 10 
Senta Spiegel, 9 
Sigmund Springer, 8 
Sarah Szulklaper, 11 
Max Tetelbaum, 12 
Herman Tetelbaum, 10 
Charles Weltner, 9 
Otto Wertheimer, 12 
Emile Zuckerberg, 5



The number of children killed by Hitler and his Nazis is not fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of the children will never be known. Estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children during the Holocaust. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized handicapped children.

Plucked from their homes and stripped of their childhoods, the children had witnessed the murder of parents, siblings, and relatives. They faced starvation, illness and brutal labor, until they were consigned to the gas chambers.

This is the story of the children of Izieu - but there are no happy endings. In 1944 the Nazis from Lyon sent three vehicles to the tiny French village to exterminate the children of the orphanage known as La Maison d'Izieu. Here 44 Jewish children in age from 3 to 18 were hidden away from the Nazi terror that surrounded them.

On the morning of April 6, 1944, as the children all settled down in the refectory to drink hot chocolate, the Nazis led by the Butcher of Lyon Klaus Barbie, raided the Home, throwing the crying and terrified children on to the trucks like sacks of potatoes.

The little children were deported to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and murdered immediately upon arrival. Of the forty-four children kidnapped by the Nazis in Izieu, not a single one survived. Of the supervisors there was one sole survivor, twenty-seven year old Lea Feldblum.

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, who brought Klaus Barbie to justice in 1983, later wrote: "Forty-four children deported - no mere statistic, but rather forty-four tragedies which continue to cause us pain ..."


Dr. Josef Mengele, nicknamed 'the Angel of Death', became the surviving symbol of Adolf Hitler's Final Solution. At Auschwitz Mengele was the chief provider for the gas chambers and their crematoria - and did well!

Mengele did a number of medical experiments of unspeakable horror at Auschwitz, using twins. These twins as young as five and six years of age were usually murdered after the experiment was over and their bodies dissected. Approximately three thousand twins passed through the Auschwitz death camp during WWII until its liberation at the end of the war. Only a few of these twins survived the experiments which they were subjected to at the hands of Mengele. This is their story.

This site contains graphic pictures.

- Louis Bülow


Josef Mengele


Dr. Josef Mengele was born on March 16, 1911, the eldest of three sons of Karl and Walburga Mengele. Josef was refined, intelligent and popular in his town. He studied philosophy at Munich and medicine at Frankfurt University. In 1935 his dissertation dealt with racial differences in the structure of the lower jaw.

In 1937 he joined the Nazi party, then in 1938 he went to the SS. In 1942 he was wounded at the Russian front and was pronounced unfit for duty. After that he volunteered to go to the concentration camp, he was sent to the death camp, Auschwitz.

Dr. Josef Mengele, nicknamed "the Angel of Death", became the surviving symbol of Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution". Mengele was always immaculately prepared for the long-drawn-out rituals of death, the hellish selections which the young SS doctor so regularly attended during his twenty-one months at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Josef Mengele was the chief provider for the gas chambers and their crematoria - and did well! "He had a look that said 'I am the power,'" said one survivor. When it was reported that one block was infected with lice, Mengele solved the problem by gassing all the 750 women assigned to it. At the time, Mengele was only thirty-two years old.

The Angel of Death fed his legend by dramatizing murderous policies, such as his drawing a line on the wall of the children's block between 150 and 156 centimeters (about 5 feet or 5 feet 2 inches) from the floor.Then sending those whose heads could not reach the line to the gas chamber ... (Lifton, p. 346.)

The memory of this slightly built man, scarcely a hair out of place, his dark green tunic neatly pressed, his face well scrubbed, his Death's Head SS cap tilted rakishly to one side, remains vivid for those who survived his scrutiny when they arrived at the Auschwitz railhead. Polished boots slightly apart, his thumb resting on his pistol belt, he surveyed his prey with those dead gimlet eyes.

Death to the left, life to the right. Four hundred thousand souls - babies, small children, young girls, mothers, fathers, and grandparents - are said to have been casually waved to the lefthand side with a flick of the cane clasped in a gloved hand.

When a mother did not want to be separated from her thirteen-year-old daughter, and bit and scratched the face of the SS man who tried to force her to her assigned line, Mengele drew his gun and shot both the woman and the child. As a blanket punishment, he then sent to the gas all people from that transport who had previously been selected for work, with the comment: "Away with this shit!" (Lifton)

There were moments when his death mask gave way to a more animated expression, when Mengele came alive.There was excitement in his eyes, a tender touch in his hands. This was the moment when Josef Mengele, the geneticist, found a pair of twins. Mengele was almost fanatical about drawing blood from twins, mostly identical twins. He is reported to have bled some to death this way.

Once Mengele's assistant rounded up 14 pairs of Gypsy twins during the night. Mengele supervised how they were placed on his polished marble dissection table and put to sleep. The assistant then proceeded to inject chloroform into their hearts, killing them instantaneously. He then began dissecting and meticulously noting each and every piece of the twins' bodies.

Twins undergoing his experiments didn't know what the objectives were. It is known that he had a special pathology lab where he performed autopsies on twins who had died from experiments. It was located next to the cremetorium.

Mengele injected chemicals into the eyes of children in an attempt to change their eye color. He experimented both physical and psychological; experimental surgeries performed without anesthesia, transfusions of blood from one twin to another, isolation endurance, reaction to various stimuli. He made injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, the removal of organs and limbs, incestuous impregnations.

The book Children of the Flames chronicles the notorious medical experimental activities of Josef Mengele on approximately three thousand twins who passed through the Auschwitz death camp during WWII until its liberation at the end of the war. Unfortunately a strict veil of secrecy over the experiments enabled Mengele to do his work more effectively.

Only a few of the three thousand twins survived and now fifty years later they have told their story of how they were given special privileges in Auschwitz due to Mengele’s interest in twins. How as a result they have suffered during the past fifty years as the children who survived the still unknown and unexplained medical experiments and injections which they were subjected to at the hands of Josef Mengele.

The survivors tell how as children in Auschwitz they were visited by a smiling "Uncle Mengele" who brought them candy and clothes.Then he had them delivered to his medical laboratory either in trucks painted with the Red Cross emblem or in his own personal car to undergo his experiments.

One twin recalls the death of his brother:

"Dr. Mengele had always been more interested in Tibi. I am not sure why - perhaps because he was the older twin. Mengele made several operations on Tibi. One surgery on his spine left my brother paralyzed. He could not walk anymore. Then they took out his sexual organs. After the fourth operation, I did not see Tibi anymore. I cannot tell you how I felt. It is impossible to put into words how I felt. They had taken away my father, my mother, my two older brothers - and now, my twin ..."

The full extent of his gruesome work will never be known because the records he sent to his mentor, Dr. Von Verschuer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, were shipped out in two truckloads and destroyed by the latter. Any remaining notes Mengele carried with him on his escape to South America and those were never found.

Josef Mengele left Auschwitz disguised as a member of the regular German infantry. He turned up at the Gross-Rosen work camp and left well before it was liberated on February 11, 1945. He was then seen at Matthausen and shortly after he was captured as a POW and held near Munich. He was released by the allies, who had no idea that he was in their midst.

By the fall of 1948, Mengele had made up his mind to leave Germany and build a life elsewhere. Argentina was the preferred choice of sanctuary. There was a groundswell of Nazi sympathy in Argentina. And his father, Karl Sr., who owned a firm that manufactured agricultural equipment, thought that though his company had no branches in Argentina, he had made several business connections there that Josef might develop.

Today it seems that Nazi war criminals escaped to Argentina using false identities supplied by the Red Cross, the humanitarian organisation has admitted. The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it unwittingly provided travel papers to at least 10 top Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann, Klaus Barbie, Erich Priebke and Josef Mengele ... A statement issued by the ICRC, from its Geneva headquarters, said they were among thousands of people found in refugee camps who were given Red Cross travel documents.

In the 60' Adolf Eichmann was caught and taken to Israel where he was tried as a war criminal. On May 31, 1962, the State of Israel carried out the only death sentence in its history on the man whose defense was, "I was just following orders."

Klaus Barbie, a Gestapo leader in Lyon, France, was convicted of crimes against humanity in 1987.

SS captain Erich Priebke also obtained Red Cross travel documents. He was convicted in 1997 for his role in the 1944 massacre of 335 civilians at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mengele gave an Italian residency document with a false name and permission to enter Argentina. He received his passport in 1949. So Josef Mengele fled to South America, but moved from country to country afraid of being caught. There were many warrants, rewards, and bounties offered, but he was lucky.

In South America Mengele divorced Irene Mengele. In 1958, he married his brother Karl's widow, Martha, and later she and her son moved to Argentina to join Mengele. Mengele's life had now established itself into the comfortable and secure routine of a family man in a 9-to-5 job with good prospects.

Despite international efforts to track him down, he was never apprehended and lived for 35 years hiding under various aliases. He lived in Paraguay and Brazil until his death in 1979. One afternoon, living in Brazil, he went for a swim. While in the ocean he suffered a massive stroke and began to drown. By the time he was dragged to shore, he was dead.

In MENGELE: The Complete Story (McGraw-Hill, 1986), Gerald L. Posner, and his co-author, John Ware, solved the riddle of the missing Nazi doctor. Nazi hunters, using newly discovered information, uncovered his grave marked "Wolfgang Gerhard" at Embu. Then his family admitted they had shielded him all those years and turned over his diaries and letters to investigators.

But the possibility of a hoax kept the case open for several years. It was not until 1992, after coaxing DNA from a bone, and matching it to DNA in blood samples taken from Mengele's son and wife that the official conclusion is announced: "The remains are those of Josef Mengele".

The mystery of Josef Mengele, the evil symbol of the Nazi's, was solved.



In Hermann Langbein's Menschen in Auschwitz Lucie Adelsberger describes the life of the children at Auschwitz:

"Like the adults, the kids were only a mere bag of bones, without muscles or fat, and the thin skin like pergament scrubbed through and through beyond the hard bones of the skeleton and ignited itself to ulcerated wounds. Abscesses covered the underfed body from the top to the bottom and thus deprived it from the last rest of energy. The mouth was deeply gnawed by noma-abscesses, hollowed out the jaw and perforated the cheeks like cancer.

Many decaying bodies were full of water because of the burning hunger, they swelled to shapeless bulks which could not move anymore. Diarrhoea, lasting for weeks, dissolved their irresistant bodies until nothing remained .."                  

At Auschwitz children were generally killed upon arrival. Children born in the camps were generally killed on the spot.

So called camp doctors, especially the notorious Josef Mengele, would torture Jewish children, Gypsy children and many others. "Patients" were put into pressure chambers, tested with drugs, castrated, frozen to death, and exposed to various other traumas.

A survivor, Eva Mozes Kor, later recalled how a set of Gypsy twins was brought back from Mengele's lab after they were sewn back to back. Mengele had attempted to create a Siamese twin by connecting blood vessels and organs. The twins screamed day and night until gangrene set in, and after three days, they died ...

At Auschwitz Professor Carl Clauberg injected chemical substances into wombs during his experiments. Thousands of Jewish and Gypsy women were subjected to this treatment. They were sterilized by the injections, producing horrible pain, inflamed ovaries, bursting spasms in the stomach, and bleeding. Men and women were positioned repeatedly for several minutes between two x-ray machines aimed at their sexual organs. Most subjects died or were gassed immediately. Men's testicles were removed and sent to Breslau for histopathological examination.

Likewise at Auschwitz Dr. Herta Oberhauser killed children with oil and evipan injections, removed their limbs and vital organs, rubbed ground glass and sawdust into wounds.

Near the end of the war, in order to cut expenses and save gas, "cost- accountant considerations" led to an order to place living children directly into the ovens or throw them into open burning pits.

An Eyewitness
A Jew and a medical doctor, the prisoner Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared death for a grimmer fate: to perform “scientific research” on his fellow inmates at Auschwitz under the supervision of Mengele. Miraculously, Nyiszli survived to give an horrifying and sobering account, one of the first books to bring the full horror of the Nazi death camps to the public - Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account. You find this account pp. 114-120:

"In number one's crematorium's gas chamber 3,000 dead bodies were piled up. The Sonderkommando had already begun to untangle the lattice of flesh ... The chief of the gas chamber kommando almost tore the hinges off the door to my room as he arrived out of breath, his eyes wide with fear or suprise. "Doctor," he said, "come quickly. We just found a girl alive at the bottom of a pile of corpses."

I grabbed my intrument case, which was always ready, and dashed to the gas chamber. Against the wall, near the entrance to the immense room, half covered with other bodies, I saw a girl in the throes of a death rattle, her body seized with convulsions. The gas kommando men around me were in a state of panic. Nothing like this had ever happened in the course of their horrible career.

We moved the still-living body from the corpses pressing against it. I gathered the tiny adolescent body into my arms and carried it back to the room adjoining the gas chamber ... I laid the body on a bench. A frail young girl, almost a child, she could have been no more than fifteen.

I took out my syringe and, taking her arm - she had not yet recovered consciousness and was breathing with difficulty - I administered three intravenous injections. My companions covered her body which was as cold as ice with a heavy overcoat. One ran to the kitchen to fetch some tea and warm broth. Everybody wanted to help as if she were his own child.

The reaction was swift. The child was seized by a fit of coughing which brought up a thick globule of phlegm from her lungs. She opened her eyes and looked fixedly at the ceiling. I kept a close watch for every sign of life. Her breathing became deeper and more and more regular. Her lungs, tortured by the gas, inhaled the fresh air avidly. Her pulse became perceptible, the result of the injections. I waited impatiently. I saw that within a few minutes she was going to regain consciousness: her circulation began to bring color back into her cheeks, and her delicate face became human again ...

I made a sign for my companions to withdraw. I was going to attempt something I knew without saying was doomed to failure ... From our numerous contacts, I had been able to ascertain that Mussfeld had a high esteem for the medical expert's professional qualities ... And this was the man I had to deal with, the man I had to talk into allowing a single life to be spared.

I calmly related the terrible case we found ourselves confronted with. I described for his benefit what pains the child must have suffered in the undressing room, and the horrible scenes that preceded death in the gas chamber. When the room had been plunged into darkness, she had breathed in a few lungfuls of cyclon gas. Only a few, though, for her fragile body had given way under the pushing and shoving of the mass as they fought against death. By chance she had fallen with her face against the wet concrete floor. That bit of humidity had kept her from being asphyxiated, for cyclon gas does not react under humid conditions.

These were my arguments, and I asked him to do something for the child. He listened to me attentively then asked me exactly what I proposed doing. I saw by his expression that I had put him face to face with a practically impossible problem.  

"There's no way of getting round it," he said, "the child will have to die."

Half an hour later the young girl was led, or rather carried, into the furnace room hallway, and there Mussfeld sent another in his place to do the job. A bullet in the back of the neck ..."

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli - an unbelievable true story

        Dr Herta Oberhauser            

Dr. Herta Oberheuser, in order to kill them, would inject oil and evipan into children's blood streams. While the children were still conscious, she removed their vital organs and limbs with no anesthetics. They usually had about 3-5 minutes before death would come. Herta also focused on inflicting wounds that were similar to the wounds the German soldiers got on patients. She would then rub objects such as; glass, wood, rusty nails, and sawdust into the wounds.  Herta was the only female defendant at the Nuremberg Medical Trials. She received a 20 year sentence, but only served 10. After being released in the April of 1952, she became a family doctor in Stocksee, Germany. Her license was revoked in 1958.