This section features the true experiences of Holocaust Survivors we see and visit today. This is to fulfill their requests,
“Remember us! Tell others of our experiences so we are not forgotten!”
(Caution: True accounts, as related by the Survivor, may be difficult to read)
~ Hela ~
Hela was in the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland, with her family during WWII. It was a ghetto that became famous because of the stiff and surprise resistance put up by its inhabitants. Between April 4 and May 16, 1943 two
Jewish resistance groups within Warsaw fought against the German army to prevent the final liquidation of the remaining 55,000 of the original 350,000 inhabitants. These groups, totally 500 strong, resisted the Germans for 27 days. In the end, all the Jewish fighters were either killed or captured; 16 Germans killed and 85 wounded. It was in this ghetto that Hela lived and worked as an underground fighter- at the age of 15.
Hela, as a teenager, was inconspicuous riding her bicycle around. She did not look very Jewish and was able to get in and out of the Warsaw Ghetto with comparative ease as an “Aryan.”
During her time of serving the underground, she smuggled secret papers and messages back and forth between the partisans outside and the resistance inside. Sometimes she helped create false documents or ID’s and smuggled them as well.
One day she was detained by the police and taken into the station. There she was tortured for several days to force her to confess her part. For those days she kept to her statement that she was just a 15 year old girl out riding her bicycle and how could she know anythingabout the underground or politics?
Finally, the police let her go deciding she was nothing more than she claimed to be. Outside the station she discovered her bicycle was leaning against the wall. Getting on her bike, she rode to her earlier intended destination. Reaching her contact, she unscrewed the end of her handlebars, pulled out the secret papers, and handed them over. Then she got on her bike and rode back into the Ghetto.
When Hela told her account, she smiled and said,
“They never did catch me and I continued with the underground until we were all taken from the Ghetto and sent to concentration camps. I fooled them all!”
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