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Before the War
The Holocaust
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
II. During the Holocaust
At this point my father and I were separated and I contracted typhoid fever. I didn't think I'd make it. I was alone, but somebody kept me alive. Somebody covered me with straw and gave me water. I tried to go back to work but I was weak and I stumbled. As the SS were taking me away to be shot, I was saved by an SS man who knew me. I slowly regained my health and went back to work.

I met Abe Chapnick, a boy a year older than me, and we remained together for the rest of the war. In 1944, when I was 13, Abe and I were sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp (Map) and placed in Block 8 with Polish, French and German political prisoners. These prisoners helped protect us. There were very few Jews. My life in Buchenwald was actually easier than in the other camps. The political prisoners hid us during the day while they went to work. Sometimes we even received care parcels from the Red Cross. Once we found ourselves with a piece of chocolate. We weren't even sure what it was at first.
III. Rediscovering Freedom »    
Robbie's Map
I. Skarszysko, Poland
II. During the Holocaust
III. Rediscovering Freedom
IV. Orphanage
V. Finding a Home
VI. Coming to Canada
VII. Becoming Canadian
One of the first concentration camps established by the Nazis in July 1937 in central Germany. The first inmates were Communists and Jews. Following Kristallnacht in 1938, 10,000 Jewish men were imprisoned there. Dora-Nordhausen and Ohrdruf were two sub-camps of Buchenwald. Approximately 43,000 people perished there before American forces liberated it in April 1945.
Red Cross
International organization, founded in 1863 according to the terms of the Geneva Convention to care for wounded, sick and homeless during wartime. Its mandate later expanded to include the monitoring of humanitarian international law. The Red Cross attempted to assess conditions in prison and concentration camps during the war but was refused entry by the Nazis. After the war the Red Cross assisted in tracing survivors, in family unification and resettlement.