Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hellen Duman's testimony - another link in the Holocaust Memorial Chain

Sometimes I feel that maybe these posts don't belong here. Who knows, maybe one day I'll remove them from here and create a separate Blog dedicated to them.

Meanwhile, since these posts are important to me, since they are part of who I am and part of the culture that created me, they will remain here as a testimony to how artistic, cultural and social phenomenon are all linked.

Hellen Duman's Testimony (22.1.7):

Hi Mike,
Of the thousands of stories my father used to tell us, from the day we could take them, till the day he died, there were many of hair raising horror, some of luck, some even of humor, but I chose to share one of heroism.

Towards the end of the war, when the Russians were approaching from the East, the Germans decided to evacuate Auschwitz, were my father was held. This later became known as the Death March.

Many of the inmates died on the way, mainly due to the cold. Imagine yourself out on one of the coldest winterdays, now imagine yourself out on one of the coldest winterdays you can imagine, minus wintercoat, gloves, scarf, wearing nothing but your with pants and a shirt. Polish winters easily reach 10-15 degrees below zero...

On the second or third evening of the march my father's group reached a farm and many of the inmates were ushered into a huge barn. As they lay on the ground in one of the corners of the barn my father, groping around in search of food found a hole in the ground. He groped around some more and found it was big enough for a man to fit into.

What my father actually found was an underground tunnel which led outside the barn. My father woke up two of his friends and together they escaped via the tunnel and fled the death march.

My father not only had the courage to flee, but was compassionate enough, even in those darkest of times, to think others. He will always loom larger than life for me.
Many years later, I met the two friends he helped escape. Naturally they were grateful to him for the rest of their lives.

Hellen Duman

No comments:

Post a Comment

Israel Art Calendar