Survivor tells of her Auschwitz death penalty

At the 70 year commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz, Jewish Holocaust survivor Helena Birenbaum speaks to the gathered 49 heads of state, hundreds of Jewish survivors and political prisoners, and some 800 journalists.

“I am prisoner 48693 with a death penalty because I was young, because I was Jewish,” says Birenbaum.

Birenbaum told the crowd at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp under the theatrically lit gate that although her family all perished, “I never let them die.”

“Auschwitz is a place that used to be unknown… nothing remains reminding you of anything remotely human. You are there so you cannot be anywhere in the world.”

Birenbaum was imprisoned for two years and freed on May 3, 1945, by the Russian Allies.

— Amanda Borschel-Dan

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