75 Years Ago Today – Dec. 5 1942 – over 2,000 women were selected to die

Lea and EdithOne of the saddest days in history of women in Auschwitz was the first day of Channukah–Dec 5, 1942–a Saturday.  Edith (#1970) remembers the date because her sister died that day in Block 25, the infamous “infirmary” block that no one escaped from alive.

The historical record reported that 2,000 “mostly healthy young women” were selected to die on St. Nicholas Day–Dec 6, 1942, but it was also the first day of Channukah, the Festival of Lights. Both Edith and Rena (#1716) told me independently of each other that 10,000 women were selected to die on that day. Afterward “Camp was empty” they both used that phrase… Who do we believe? The Nazi’s numbers of the witnesses who walked through the empty camp, bereft.

For Edith this day is engraved in her heart and soul forever. She had visited her sister and found her in a coma then the infirmary block was emptied. She never saw Lea, again.

This past year, we stood in the courtyard of Block 25, took each other’s hands and prayed the Kaddish for Lea Friedman, Pepka Dranger, Adela Gross, Magda and Olinka Hartmann, Magda Amster and the many other girls and women who died in that block whose names we do not know. Our prayer is offered today on the anniversary of so many pointless deaths, 75 years ago today.

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