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Before the War
The Holocaust
Liberation
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
III. Auschwitz
I worked in a furniture factory outside of the camp and life was a little more orderly. We had a place to sleep and a bit of food. I even got to know an SS guard and volunteered to polish his boots and wash his dishes. In return, the guard gave me leftovers to eat and, later, arranged for me to transfer to another floor, where I had access to alcohol for trading purposes.

I met a boy, named Marvin, and his father who I had known in my home town. We helped each other out a great deal. We comforted each other. Marvin and I had all sorts of fantasies about what we would do if we ever got out of there. Still, life was dangerous. Twice I had to pass "selections" at Auschwitz. I would run naked past a group of officials who would decide if people were healthy enough to work. If judged unhealthy, a guard would hook his cane around the prisoner's neck and send him to the gas chambers.
IV. Death March »   
David's Map
I. Gherla, Transylvania
II. Deportation
III. Auschwitz
IV. Death March
V. Realizing the Loss
VI. Coming to Canada
VII. Becoming Canadian
Gas chamber
Sealed rooms in extermination camps and some concentration camps, often masked to look like shower or delousing facilities. Prisoners were crowded into the chambers where poison gas or carbon monoxide was released. Zyklon B was used at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek. Most of the other killing centres used carbon monoxide. After gassing victims' bodies were cremated or buried in mass graves.
Selection
The process of choosing victims to be killed in the concentration camps. These 'selections" targeted women, children, the elderly and those physically unfit for slave labour. Medical personnel often carried out the selections.
SS
Abbreviation for Schutzstaffel (Defence Protective Units), usually written with two lightning symbols. Initially established as Hitler's personal bodyguard, the SS was transformed into a larger organization by Heinrich Himmler. Although some SS units were assigned to the battlefield, the organization is best known for its role in the destruction of European Jewry.