The rationale for this series was given here: since some think there's too much interest in the Holocaust, we need to be assiduous in remembering what happened to people then.
4. Harry Gzesh:
Mr. Gzesh was born and grew up in Lodz, Poland, one of eight children. Both his father and grandfather were bakers, and Mr. Gzesh worked in the small bakery below the family's apartment before he was deported to Germany in 1941 as a forced laborer.
He spent the next four years in German camps.
He was in Bergen-Belsen when British forces liberated the camp in 1945. As soon as he could get to the women's areas of the camp, he ran across to them, hoping to find one or more of his sisters. He would learn later that except for one younger brother, his entire family had died during the war.
5. Alice Herz-Sommer is the oldest known Holocaust survivor. A pianist, she was imprisoned at Terezin.
Terezin (or Theresienstadt), in what is now northern Czech Republic, was a unique place. It served as a transit camp for western Jews en route to other camps like Auschwitz - but was also the temporary "home" to some of the most notable artists and cultural leaders from Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe.
Conditions were harsh, and only a small percentage survived. For many people like Herz-Sommer, art was the ticket to life. She would practice for hours and perform recitals for inmates. But those performances were also effectively used as propaganda when visitors like the Red Cross came through the camp: Especially at Terezin, Nazis exploited artists to give a false impression of civility to the outside world.
6. Miriam Rosenthal.
Miriam Rosenthal was four-months pregnant, starving, bone-tired, cold, filthy and afraid when an SS officer in big black boots and a crisp uniform appeared before the barracks in Auschwitz with a loudspeaker in hand.
All pregnant women line up, he barked. Line up, line up - your food portions are being doubled.
"Can you imagine?" Miriam asks. "Even women who were not pregnant stepped forward. I was standing with my younger cousin, but I wouldn't go. She says, 'Miriam, what are you doing?'"
"Something was holding me back. Someone was watching over me. I feel maybe my mother, maybe God. Two hundred women stepped forward and 200 women went to the gas chamber. And I don't know why I didn't step forward..."
(For an index to the whole series, see here)