Eastern Europe, 1944: Three women believe they are pregnant, but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain. Rachel is sent to Auschwitz, unaware that her husband has been shot. Priska and her husband travel there together, but are immediately separated. Also at Auschwitz, Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband. With the rest of their families gassed, these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left—their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, they are forced to work and almost starved to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS.
In April 1945, as the Allies close in, Priska gives birth. She and her baby, along with Anka, Rachel, and the remaining inmates, are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen-day train journey. Rachel gives birth on the train, and Anka at the camp gates. All believe they will die, but then a miracle occurs. The gas chamber runs out of Zyklon-B, and as the Allied troops near, the SS flee. Against all odds, the three mothers and their newborns survive their treacherous journey to freedom. Learn more about these incredible stories in articles by Jim Stingl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Mitch Teich and Audrey Nowakowski of WUWM. Holocaust Survivors, Drs. Hana Berger Moran and Wisconsin local Mark Olsky, discussed their mothers’ harrowing experiences during the Holocaust as told in the book “Born Survivors.” The interview and Q&A session was conducted by Mr. Jerry Huffman, an Emmy-Award winning television journalist and Wisconsin native. His father, Paul, was a tank driver in the 4th Armored Division and helped liberate multiple camps in the closing days of the war.
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Boswell Book Company
Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC)
Thu. September 10, 2020