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Like Kurt, everyone on board his train would be safe.

But unlike Kurt, whose ordeal of separation would shortly be behind him, that of most of his young travelling companions was just about to start and would have no end. It is otherwise noteworthy that Kurt mentions the people in the same predicament around him and their own efforts to escape from Austria. Kurt passes on the desperate entreaties from family and family friends such as Mrs Gans, for Hedwig to help find them or their children a job in the UK.

His peers were also trying hard to flee, including Egon Kollmann who he mentions wrote to forty bishops in the UK.


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There are other people known to Hedwig who are mentioned in passing, such as Lucie Gold. We also learn that any plans that Lucie had were sadly thwarted - she was murdered in Auschwitz with her family in October Kurt went on to have mixed experiences as a refugee in the UK. Although his schooling had come to a premature end, work was hard and his accommodation basic, he was grateful for his opportunity to survive - several relatives did not - and pick up his relationship with his mother to whom he remained very close.

He settled in Britain and became a British citizen in In one of his children found the letters that Hedwig had kept, originally in case her gamble failed and then as a record of how they overcame the odds together. Forced to leave Kurt and Hedwig joint portrait c. A terrible dilemma The circumstances, including a vindictive non-Jewish ex-husband who would not have countenanced giving legal permission for their son to travel, meant Hedwig was presented with the first opportunity to flee in March Battling obstinacy, bureaucracy and a last minute escape Finally, Kurt updated his mother regularly on his efforts to learn English and to secure the right papers to travel and urged her to follow up the leads she had mentioned pursuing in the UK.

Postscript Hedwig and Kurt reunited, mid s.

Searching for Children Rescued by Nicholas Winton

At most camps, prisoners had their belongings confiscated on arrival. At Auschwitz specifically, a group of primarily Jewish prisoners were assigned to collect and sift through these confiscated possessions. Valuables were separated and sorted in large warehouses and then transported back to Germany. These warehouses were ironically nicknamed Kanada, the German spelling of Canada.

Prisoners who worked as part of the Kanada commando were in a privileged position. They were able to obtain extra rations and clothing from the possessions — items which could saves lives in the harsh conditions of the camp. However, prisoners also faced extreme punishments if caught. Schaus was imprisoned in Dachau by the Nazis and discusses the malaria experiments he was subjected to there.

This report details the initial findings of the high altitude experiments which took place at Dachau.

These experiments aimed to discover the limits at which the human body could survive with small amounts of oxygen. Concentration camp prisoners were used as live test subjects against their will. Out of the inmates used, 80 died directly from the experiments. In addition to forced labour, the Nazis used prisoners incarcerated in camps as live test subjects for medical experiments. These experiments were usually extremely painful, debilitating , and in many cases, lethal.

Following the mass imprisonments after the start of the Second World War, the Nazis escalated this sterilisation policy and also targeted other racial enemies such as Jews. The Nazis conducted a number of experiments on concentration camp prisoners in an effort to discover a method for mass sterilisation. The start of the Second World War also led to a number of medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners in attempts to discover new, cheaper and quicker treatments for common military injuries. Some examples of these experiments include hypothermia experiments at Dachau, which attempted to discover ways to quickly reverse the effects of hypothermia.

This set of experiments forced inmates to be submerged in cold water.

Out of the inmates involved, between died — typically of heart failure. Other experiments at Dachau involved attempts to make seawater drinkable, in case troops were marooned with no running water, attempts to find a similar drug to penicillin , which involved infecting prisoners with sepsis , and attempts to find a cure for malaria. Almost all of these experiments resulted in a significant number of deaths or physical and mental deformities among the prisoners tested on. Dachau was not the only site of war-related medical experiments on prisoners. Experiments to find a cure for typhus also took place at Natzweiler and Buchenwald where inmates out of the used died, in addition to carrier patients who died whilst being used to keep the infection alive so it could be further tested.

Concentration camp inmates were also used as live test subjects in individual doctors research experiments. Perhaps the most infamous example of this was the experiments performed by Dr. Mengele was particularly interested in twins, people with different colored eyes, and people with physical impairments. Mengele did not spare any thought for the wellbeing or health of the inmates subject to his experiments, and many of them died or were purposefully killed so that their corpses could be examined.

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Another example of medical experiments on inmates driven by personal interest was the Tuberculosis experiments carried out by Dr. Kurt Heissmeyer in June in Nuengamme. Heissmeyer hoped that his experiments would find a cure for tuberculosis. Despite the lack of positive results, Heissmeyer continued his experiments, and started new rounds on children in This became known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

The exhibition promoted antisemitic stereotypes. On 9 November , Kristallnacht took place. Throughout Germany, synagogues were burned and Jewish businesses were looted by the Nazis. On 8 November , labourer Georg Elser attempted to assassinate Hitler. Elser was later murdered in Dachau concentration camp. On 20 November , the Nuremberg trials began. Twenty one top level Nazis were tried for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Visit The Wiener Holocaust Library.

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This map shows all of the major camps established by the Nazis by January This control, together with the guaranteed funding for the camps, secured their future. Criminals — onwards People with previous criminal convictions were among the first to find themselves targeted by the Nazis. Foreign nationals — onwards As the Second World War started, foreign citizens from newly occupied countries such as Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands also began to be imprisoned in concentration and forced labour camps.

SS The majority of the camps followed a similar organisational structure created by the SS.

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The camps were split into five sections: Commandants office This office oversaw the whole camp. Political department This department was responsible for registration of prisoners, interrogations, the camp prison and crematoria. Protective custody camp This section oversaw the prisoners complex. Administrative department This department was responsible for all administration for the camp, such as the maintenance of the camps own equipment and facilities. Medical department This department was run by the camp physician, and provided medical care for the SS and prisoners — though the quality of this care varied greatly between the two.

In the protective custody camp, prisoners were also used as staff in the form of Kapos. Kapos Kapos were inmates of Nazi camps who were appointed as guards to oversee other prisoners in various tasks. Work supervisors oversaw prisoners at work, and were responsible for ensuring efficiency, making sure that no one escaped, and reporting delays.

Block elders supervised the barracks. Typically, there was one block elder per block, and they ensured all prisoners kept the barracks clean, made their beds, and got to roll call on time. They were also responsible for counting the prisoners accounting for any that had died or were ill , and handing out food. Conditions inside the transports were extremely inhumane, and, for some, lethal.

As such, many prisoners died on route to the camps from dehydration, starvation or suffocation. Inside one of the prisoners sleeping barracks at Auschwitz. A rollcall of inmates of Buchenwald concentration camp in the s. Morning The day usually began between 4am and 4. Daytime Once roll call was finished and the sun rose, prisoners set off for work. Evening Work typically finished at approximately 5pm or 6pm each day, or sundown in winter although this varied greatly — some prisoners could be forced to work through the night. At 9pm lights were switched off, and prisoners were expected to sleep.

A chart showing some of the different types of badges used to identify different prisoners. One of them, a department store called the Glass House, served as a refuge for up to 3, Jews and a headquarters for the Zionist underground. Chaos swirled throughout Hungary as , Jews were deported to Auschwitz in a two-month period. Others were shot point-blank and thrown into the Danube by the Arrow Cross—and at one point, Lutz even jumped into the river to save a bleeding woman by invoking his Swiss diplomatic powers.

So when Nazi commandants saw these letters, they accepted them.

Anti-Jewish decrees

Then, in November , the Arrow Cross assembled 70, Jews and forced them on a death march to various concentration camps in Austria and Germany. Carl Luz and his wife followed along. Carl Lutz and his first wife, Gertrud Fankhauser, circa Whenever possible I would drive alongside these people on their way to the concentration camps to try and show them that there was still hope. But though the efforts of Lutz and his co-conspirators, which included diplomats from other countries and Zionist underground members, 62, Jews—half of the Jewish population of Budapest—were saved.

After the war, Lutz divorced his first wife and married Maria Magdalena Grausz, the woman he helped save in July He returned to Switzerland—but not to accolades or acclaim. Switzerland criticized him for overstepping his diplomatic authority, investigated his wartime activities, and blocked his career advancement. Eventually, his reputation was rehabilitated.