Children's barracks - Memory makes us free

Children’s barracks

Over 150,000 Jewish, Roma and Sinti children were deported to Birkenau. Torn from their parents, they were all doomed to immediate death (shot next to the ditches near Krematorium V or Bunker 2, or sent to gas chambers), while very few exceptions were chosen for experimentation.

The children were placed in one of the three Kinderblocks: the 31 of the Zigeunerlager (with a space for games), a hut in the Familienlager for Jews from the Terezin ghetto, and Barrack 1 of the Frauenlager where the Italian sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci stayed with their cousin Sergio De Simone.

Some (mostly gypsies and twins) ended up in the clutches of the angel of death, others still in block 16A, where in 1944 some non-Jewish children from the Zamość region were also imprisoned. This shack looks a little better than others, – the brick floor was a real luxury – thanks to the work of the adult prisoners who tried to make the stay in this gloomy place less hard to experience.

Wall drawing – block16a – Auschwitz 2

And, as the children were invaded by the Nazi fury, the walls that locked them up, were inundated by their innocence. Visitors can see children’s drawings, some slightly -but very powerful- hinted, others still clearly impressed on the walls even by their parents (Block 16a), which testimony children’s hopes, their fantasy, the carefree, the joy, or at least the search for a lost normality.

Today it is easy for some visitors to decide to leave a flower- such as a rose, symbol of love, beauty and perfection- among the hard wooden beds to honor all those children who did not have the opportunity to grow up.

Eva Minzer (7 years old) and Liane Minzer (5 years old)
Charlotte Dancyger, born April 3, 1938 – Photo taken from the Auschwitz archives
Memorial Izrael Rozenbaum, born April 4, 1940 – Photo taken from the Auschwitz archives
Cecile Mandelbaum, born April 3, 1939 – Photographs from the archive of the Auschwitz archives
Lea Benjamins, born April 2, 1935- Photo taken from the Auschwitz archives
Memorial  Mietje Blok, born April 2, 1942 – Photo taken from the Auschwitz Memorial archives

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Memory makes us Free - ISIS Europa