Lived experience and the Holocaust


“The guards made a conscious effort to break our spirits,” Fela learned that in her early years of working at the labor camp, her parents and three brothers went to Auschwitz. Learning to appreciate all that she had was hard but she knew she had to fight to the end, no matter what

Living in the labor camp it wasn’t always a piece of cake, She often faced extreme hunger and her parents paid large sums of money to smuggle her in sandwiches while at the labor camp. Throughout her life, she faced challenges such as constant forced labor in the Sosnowiec transit camp. So much sadness occurred during the time of the holocaust, such as losing her entire family who died in Auschwitz. Finding strength in the little things in life was hard, but she found it in her smuggled sandwiches in the labor camp, her spirit that refused to break, and her faith in liberation. Never giving up hope was her motivation and she lived to see the guards proven wrong to see that one day she would be without restraints or hindrance in her everyday life.

The Holocaust was the mass execution of 6 million Jews in Europe. At the time Nazi Germany was in control of Europe and they hated Jews and built concentration camps where they would send Jews to burn in the crematorium. Nazi’s would take Jews and force them out of their homes and starve them; surviving on merely soup, bread, and water. The countries involved with World War II were Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, China. They all played a contributing role in either helping the Jews be free or just the opposite in opposing the freedom of Jews in Europe.

While no one can really compare COVID-19 to the Holocaust I can understand a small niche of their struggle when it comes to certain restrictions. Strength has helped me during the time of COVID-19 because even though I often feel alone, school has kept me going in spirit. I also often feel like there are so many rules and regulations around me. Fela had a curfew where she couldn’t be outside past a certain time. If they didn’t have their Star of David Jewish armband on they would be in trouble. For instance, Fela was out past curfew and had to be in a building where she had to kneel all night. This told her an important lesson that in order to survive she must persevere.

Being a strong fighter and having a strong spirit is hard, but Fela managed to have both. Even though she often doubted herself because of the hurtful words being thrown her way she persevered to the end. Even though she lost everything in life; her parents and her three brothers; she made it to liberation. Spending the rest of her life in peace, she made it out alive to share her story.

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