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I Survived the Holocaust

I Survived the Holocaust

Posted March 5th, 2009 by PW

PW's picture
by Paige(Floofy)
in a safe place with Rip

March 5th, 2009

Author's Note: an assignment for my history class. had to write the story of one of the children n the Holocaust. i got Alfred Ament and wrote about him in first person.

 

I Survived the Holocaust

Story of Alfred Ament

9/15/1946

(by Floofy---3/5/09) 

 

Hello. My name is Alfred Ament. I was born September 15th, 1927. I was born in Vienna, Austria. I had both a mother and a father, and a little brother named Hans. But where I came from is not really important. I don’t write this to tell you where I came from or who I was- I write this to tell you where I went in my life and who I became.

 

Until I was about four years old my life was very ordinary. But when Hitler started to rise to power people’s treatment towards the Jewish religion, Jewish people in general, began to change drastically. Hitler and the Nazis began to brainwash the gentile population that Jews were responsible for the problems in the economy, and that our “race” was inferior to everyone else’s. Judaism was no longer just a religion…it was an ethnicity. Our rights and freedom were slowly being stripped away and all of our pride was being taken away as well. Everyone knew who was a Jew because we were all required to wear a yellow patch of the Star of David on our clothing where it could be seen by anyone.    

 

In 1933, when I was only five years old, people began to Boycott the Jewish Businesses. I would walk on the sidewalk and see the windows of different stores and restaurants covered in signs that read “Don’t buy from Jews; Shop in German Businesses!” and “Germans, defend yourselves, buy only at German shops!” guards would stand in front of some stores and keep people from entering. When I passed them by they would look down and glare at me. I didn’t dare look at them and I stayed as far away from the store as possible. I once saw a little girl, maybe a few years older than myself at the time, looking into one of the Jewish shops. The guard of that show came up to her and pulled her, by the hair, and pressed her face up to the window’s glass. He screamed at her, asking if she wanted to be beaten. I watched as she began to cry. He threw her back and she fell upon the ground… My family was quickly loosing money as well. Not only that, but during this whole time new laws strictly directed towards Jews, called the Nuremburg Laws, were being put into action by the Nazis. These laws prevented any Jew from having any sort of relationship with an “Aryan” (person of pure German blood) or getting married to an Aryan. They also formed charts to determine who was of pure blood and who was not.

 

When I was eleven years old two major things happened in my life that would start a chain of events to take place. The Germans began to annex Austria. My family and I fled to Belgium, where we applied for visas to the United States. We were put on a long waiting list. During this time I was going to school and I would occasionally play soccer and attend swimming matches. Though the move to Belgium scared me, I felt safe there. But then, my father was arrested during the Nazi invasion and was sent to an internment camp in the south of France. My mother, brother and I were all devastated. I celebrated one of the best childhood events, my Bar Mitzvah, without my father.

 

Soon after my 13th birthday (my Bar Mitzvah) the Kristallnacht happened in Germany. It was all because of Henry Grynszoan, a fellow Jew who shot Ernst Von Rath, an embassy official. Henry wanted the world to know the kind of distress the Jews were in, but his act of violence sent an uprising against the Jews into motion. My mother and I received letters from our old friends in Germany and even some of their belongings. In one night 1,350 Jewish Synagogues were burnt to the ground, their windows shattered along with the windows of Jewish Businesses. Over 30,000 Jews were deported, over 91 Jews were killed and 7,000 Jewish Businesses were destroyed. My mother cried with every letter she read. She would not read some of them to Hans, so I had to read them myself. One of them was addressed to me, from one of my friends who had moved to Germany from Austria when I was eight years old. She was now in a camp. I cried. Things got even worse when the Jews were charged with 1 billion Deutsch Marks to pay for the damages.       

 

In order to keep our family fed my mother sold my stamp collection and her engagement ring. We received a postcard ordering us to deport, but we fled to Marseilles in France. We nearly escaped once again from being sent to the awful concentration camps. Unfortunately, my mother became ill in Marseilles with tuberculosis and was hospitalized. My brother and I were then split apart. I was sent to a home for teenagers and my brother was sent to a children’s home. The other boys and I were not treated well here and we knew, from rumors and the news, that the Nazis were sure to find us soon enough. Ghettos were being deported everywhere and everyone were being sent to death camps. The others and I were not about to be sent to our deaths. A group of us escaped our home with fake ID cards and we scaled a ten-foot, barbed wire fence to get onto Switzerland soil. We made it. We saved ourselves by reaching the “Neutral Land”. Switzerland fought no one and no one fought Switzerland. We were safe.

 

I was adopted into a Swiss refugee camp and a Swiss boarding school. In the May of 1945, when I was almost 18 years old, I learned what had become of the rest of my family. My mother died of tuberculosis and my father, brother and grandparents all died in the death camps. I was truly an orphan. I was the only one in my family who had survived, and I wasn’t sure why. I know many others who escaped who went through a great deal more then I did, and I’m honored to be considered a Holocaust survivor. I thank God that I am alive to write my story...     

 


See more stories by Paige(Floofy)
Good story (and good

Good story (and good assignment, especially for history)! But just so you know, your 13th bday isn't called your Bar Mitzvah--a bar (or bat, for a girl) mitzvah is a ceremony you perform (involving torah portions, a speech, etc) to become a man or a woman.

"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." --Dr. Seuss

Posted by claudia/sparrow on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 23:48
yes, but most of my friends

yes, but most of my friends celebrate their bar mitzvah on their thirteenth birthday

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I love Red&Black. I love my music. I love wolves. I love my friends. I love my parents and family. I love someone. I love my life. But most of all, I Love The Lord My God... I'm sorry if the truth hurts...

Posted by Paige on Sun, 03/08/2009 - 14:51
I know, but.... You don't

I know, but.... You don't say like "I'm turning bar mitzvah". A bar mitzvah (the words) aren't used that way. 

What fun is it being cool if you can't wear a sombrero?

Posted by claudia/sparrow on Tue, 03/10/2009 - 18:50
Um... I am jewish and it is

Um...

I am jewish and it is bar mitsvah for boy and batmitsvah for girl

Posted by Sofia on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 21:58
Um... I am jewish and it is

Um...

I am jewish and it is bar mitsvah for boy and batmitsvah for girl

Posted by Sofia on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 21:58

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