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Teenagers in the Holocaust

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FC: The experiences of a teenager in the Holocaust

1: Robert Mendler was born in Nowy Targ a small town in Poland. In the town were about 3,000 Jews amongst the total population of 8,000. Only 39 of these Jews survived the Holocaust. Mendler is the only one in his eighty-nine member family who survived. These are his encounters.

2: Favorite Toys | Within 24 hours after the German occupation order came up all Jews over ten years old had to report to the town square. Mendler was thirteen. Everyone was made to wear a blue star of David armband.

4: Jews were taken hostage, beaten, punished and shot. Gentiles received $5 for reporting a Jew.

6: Food was rationed and there was no education for Jews.

8: Mendler was sent to work in the stone quarries. His job was to break granite into small pieces with a hammer. If they didn't produce the right amount each day they were shot.

10: All of Mendler's family was sent to a ghetto where the Gentiles were moved out. The ghetto was fenced in and they were guarded by SS. Many were shot and killed.

12: The ghetto was liquidated on August 30 and the Jews were told to march to the stadium with their families.

14: Children were separated from their mothers and some women, men and children were sent to the gas chambers.

16: According to Mendler the sick and crippled were taken to a cemetery where a grave was waiting. The SS made them undress and run around naked while the SS guards chased them, beat them and eventually shot them. The bodies were piled in mass graves. This was the beginning of mass solution.

18: Mendler survived because he was 13. Just old enough to work.

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Bob Robert Flannigan
  • By: Bob R.
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  • Published: almost 10 years ago