See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada

Before the War
The Holocaust
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
II. Auschwitz & Muhldorf
I was 13 years old, the youngest of the three children in my family. It was the first time I had been separated from my mother. Suddenly I found myself alone, lost in that inexplicable hell and completely bewildered. I began to cry as soon as I had a moment to myself. In spite of the masses of people around me, I was all alone. I must have fallen asleep, because suddenly I was dragged out of my bunk by two large prisoners. They held me by the shoulders, ran me out of the barracks screaming very loudly and shaking me like a rag.

Outside they put me in a line of people waiting their turn to get some food. They gave me a metal dish, ordered me to get in line every time I saw food being given out and to eat it all no matter how vile it might be. They also told me to never cry again. I was petrified of them. When they were satisfied that I was really paying attention, they softly told me that I looked like a strong and resilient boy and therefore I must do everything in my power to survive and tell the world what happened to our people in Auschwitz-Birkenau. I never saw them again. I have no idea who they were. All I know is that they spoke Yiddish.
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Bill's Map
I. Satu Mare, Romania
II. Auschwitz & Muhldorf
III. At Liberation
IV. Life as a Refugee
V. Sailing to Canada
VI. Becoming Canadian
First established as a Nazi concentration camp in 1940 at Oswiecim, Poland primarily for Polish prisoners. In 1942 it was expanded to include the extermination camp-Birkenau (Auschwitz II) and the labour camp-Buna-Monowitz (Auschwitz III). Surrounded by numerous sub camps, it grew to become the largest of all the Nazi concentration camps. Approximately 1.1 to 1.6 million Jews and 100,000 other victims were murdered or died at Auschwitz. At liberation, only 7600 prisoners — those not forced on death marches — were found alive.
The language, historically spoken by Ashkenazic Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. Derived primarily from medieval High German dialects, and to a lesser extent from Hebrew and Aramaic.