A brush with death: an artist in the death camps by Morris Wyszogrod

By Morris Wyszogrod

During this memoir Morris Wyszogrod recounts his studies from the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland to the liberation of the Theresienstadt focus camp in 1945. He describes intimately the time he spent within the Warsaw Ghetto; his paintings as an artist for numerous Luftwaffe team of workers on the Warsaw army airport; his stories on the Budzyn focus camp, the place he was once assigned to accessorize the residing quarters of the SS and to supply drawings at an orgiastic Oktoberfest; his removing to Plaszow, the place he used to be placed to paintings digging up mass graves and burning the our bodies to get rid of the facts of Nazi warfare crimes; his witnessing of the firebombing of Dresden in February 1945; and his next liberation at Theresienstadt via the purple military in may possibly 1945. simply as an artist may possibly check in what he or she sees opposed to a delicate visible and ethical template, so Wyszogrod doubly registered what he observed and felt, either in his drawings and in his thoughts.

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He led me and a group of Jews into a nearby building. He told us to take off our underwear. Then he ordered us to use it to clean the toilets. Around noon, the German supervisor came out and told us that we would get something to eat once the soldiers had finished their lunch. After a while, they called us over to a field kitchen and poured their leftovers into the pails we had just been using for the clean-up. ) We passed around the few pails and drank the contents. It consisted of soup with some vegetables floating in it.

Apparently, someone had been trying to pick her lock. " With so many aunts and uncles, I could always count on someone having some special treat for me. My mother's youngest brother, my uncle Boruch, was very sweet to me. He ran a small candy store. I loved going there because he would give me ice cream, my choice of chocolate, vanilla, or lemon. He had glass jars of cherry, lemon, or strawberry syrup. My favorite was cherry. He'd spoon a little bit into a glass, add a spritz of soda water, and I was in heaven.

During the summer following graduation, my senior class was sent to a base near the Baltic Sea for two weeks of military training. This had always been compulsory for high school students, but it now took on new importance in light of current events. We worried about the possibility of German occupation and what that would mean for Poland, and for us as Jews. Old-timers spoke of their experiences during the German occupation in World War I and concluded that we did not need to worry too much. Yet we heard frightening stories about what was happening to Jews, in Germany.

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