[OPE-L] Roman Rosdolsky on the Holocaust, from his own experience

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Dec 14 2006 - 16:18:01 EST

For me personally the hell of Auschwitz came to an end unexpectedly. In the
first days of September I was included in a transport of Polish and Soviet
prisoners being sent from Auschwitz to Ravensbruck, near Berlin. When they
herded us into the wagons, we still kept thinking that they were going to
transport us to Birkenau, to the gas chambers. But our train moved west and
the glow from the crematoria disappeared from sight. We began to breathe
fresh, unpoisoned air. And though we knew that death lies in wait for all
prisoners in Hitler's camps, we were none the less as happy as children,
because we had been snatched from the hell of Auschwitz.

Why do I write about this? Why reopen old wounds? Let me just recall one
small episode. It was in the camp, on Sunday, after lunch. A group of
prisoners were lying on their bunks and talking about the end of the war,
which they expected was approaching. A young Pole, Kazik, turned to an older
prisoner, whom everyone called "the professor," and asked him: "Professor,
what will happen to Auschwitz after the war?"

"What do you think should happen? answered "the professor." "We'll go home."

"Don't talk nonsense, professor," said Kazik. "No one here will get out

"That's true," said the professor. "But, still, the living should not
abandon hope [words of the Polish poet Juliusz Stowacki]! And as for
Auschwitz itself, the new Poland will build a great museum here and for
years delegations from all of Europe will visit it. On every stone, on every
path, they'll lay a wreath: because each inch of this earth is soaked with
blood. And later, when the barracks collapse, when the roads are overgrown
with grass and when they have forgotten about us, there will be new and even
worse wars, and even worse bestialities. Because humanity stands before two
possibilities: either it comes up with a better social order or it perishes
in barbarism and cannibalism."


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