Olga Lengyel tells, frankly and without compromise, one of the most horrifying stories of all time. This true, documented chronicle is the intimate, day-to-day. Read Five Chimneys PDF - A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz by Olga Lengyel Chicago Review Press | Olga Lengyel tells, frankly. PDF | On Jan 4, , Nicko Hidayat and others published Read PDF Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz By Olga.
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Read Five Chimneys by Olga Lengyel for free with a 30 day free trial. It was , nearly five years after Hitler had invaded Poland. The Gestapo ruled. Editorial Reviews. Review. Having lost her husband, her parents, and her two young sons to the Nazi exterminators, Olga Lengyel had little to live for during her . Five chimneys. [Olga Lengyel] -- Memoir of a Hungarian woman who was imprisoned for several years in the German concentration camp Auschwitz.
Memoir of a Hungarian woman who was imprisoned for several years in the German concentration camp Auschwitz. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Print version: Lengyel, Olga.
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Similar Items. Translation of: Originally published: Ziff-Davis Pub. On cover: The front lines were always shifting, and we might be cut off from each other forever. By going together we would at least be assured a common fate. How fatal was to be this move which I was making so deliberately!
For my parents tried to convince me to stay. After all, reasoned my father, who had formerly been director of coal mines in Transylvania, if your husband were called to the colors as a soldier, you would not be able to follow him.
I insisted. After all, had I not received assurances from a German officer that there was no danger? There was no time for debate. The hour was nearly over. Seeing that I could not be dissuaded, my parents, too, decided to accompany us. Of course, we could not leave the two children behind. Hastily, we threw a few valuables and the usual articles for a journey into a valise, hailed a taxi, and dashed off to join my husband.
He was being held at the municipal prison. We had no inkling of the treachery of which we were the victims until we all stood together on the platform in the railroad depot.
Then we discovered that hosts of neighbors and friends were there, too. Many other men had been similarly arrested and their families encouraged to go with them. Still it was not too alarming. The Germans were thorough. They had used the same technique. We were puzzled, baffled, heavy-hearted, but there was no one to ask. Suddenly we learned that the entire station was encircled by hundreds of soldiers.
Someone expressed a desire to turn back, but the phalanx of grim sentries made that impossible. There was a nightmarish quality to the scene. On the tracks, an endless train waited.
Not passenger coaches but cattle cars, each filled to bursting with candidates for deportation. We stared. People called to each other fearfully. The insignia on the car indicated their points of origin: Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania—only God knew where this train had first been assembled. Protest was useless. It was our turn. The soldiers began to close in and push us. We were driven like sheep and compelled to climb into an empty cattle car.
We tried only to keep together as we were wedged in. Then the single door was rolled shut behind us. I do not remember whether we wept or shouted. The train was under way. Ninety-six persons had been thrust into our car, including many children who were squeezed in among the luggage—the pitifully meager luggage that contained only what was most precious or useful.
Ninety-six men, women, and children in a space that would have accommodated only eight horses.
Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz
Yet that was not the worst. We were so crowded that half of us had no place to sit. Pressed against one another, my husband, my older son, and I remained standing to provide a space for my father.
He had undergone a serious operation a short time before and absolutely had to rest. Besides, as the first hour and then the second passed, we realized that the simplest details of existence would be extremely complicated. Sanitary disposal was out of the question. Fortunately, several mothers had had the foresight to bring chamber pots for their young.
With a blanket for a curtain, we isolated one corner of the car. We could empty the bowls through the single tiny window, but we had no water with which to rinse them. We called for help, but there was no answer. The train moved on—toward the unknown.
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As the journey stretched endlessly, the car jerking and jolting, all the forces of nature conspired against us ninety-six. A torrid sun heated the walls until the air became suffocating. The interior was almost completely black, for the daylight that filtered through the little window could light only that corner. After a while we decided that it was better that way. The scene was becoming more and more unattractive. The travelers were mostly people of culture and position from our community.
Many were Jewish doctors, or other professional men, and members of their families. In the beginning, everyone tried, despite the common terror, to be courteous and helpful. But as the hours slipped away the veneers cracked. Soon there were incidents and, later, serious quarrels. Thus, little by little, the atmosphere was poisoned. The children cried; the sick groaned; the older people lamented; and even those who, like me, were in perfect health, began to pay attention to their own discomforts.
The trip was incredibly morbid and gloomy, and although the same could have been said of every other car on our train, and indeed, of the innumerable trains from every corner of Europe—from France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Poland, the Ukraine, the Baltic countries, and the Balkans—which were all moving toward the same inhuman destination, we knew only our own problems.
Soon the situation was intolerable. Men, women, and children were struggling hysterically for every square inch.
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As night fell we lost all concept of human behavior and the wrangling increased until the car was a bedlam. Finally, cooler heads prevailed and a semblance of order was restored. A doctor and I were chosen captains-in-charge. Our task was herculean: to maintain the most elementary discipline and hygiene, to care for the sick, to calm those who were agitated, and to control those who went berserk.
Above all, it was our duty to maintain the morale of the company, an utterly impossible assignment, for we ourselves were on the border of despair. A thousand practical problems had to be solved.
The food problem was overwhelming. Our guards gave us nothing, and the slender provisions we had brought along began to give out. It was the third day. My heart rose in my throat. Already three days! How much longer? And where were we bound?
Worst of all was the knowledge that many of our companions had concealed part of their food. They naively believed that they would be put to work upon arrival at our destination, and that they would need what they had to supplement the regular rations. Fortunately, our misery reduced our appetites. But we observed a rapid deterioration in the general health of the group.
Those who had been weak or ailing when we started were suffering, and even the hale were weakening. The head of an S.
Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz
His Luger gestured threateningly. Thirty wristwatches, right away. If not, you may all consider yourselves dead!
He had come for his first collection of a German tax, and we had to supply enough valuables to satisfy him. So it was that my little Thomas had to part with the wristwatch we had given him after his successful third-grade examination in school. Your fountain pens and your briefcases! Another tax.
Your jewels, and we will bring you a bucket of fresh water!
One bucket of water for ninety-six human beings, of which thirty were small children. That would mean a few drops for each soul, but it would be the first we had tasted in twenty-four hours. Water, water! I looked at Thomas, my younger son.
He was staring at the water. How parched his lips were! He turned and gazed into my eyes. He, too, understood our predicament. He swallowed his spittle and did not ask for any. He was given nothing to drink, for so many needed the precious drops more than he did.
I suffered for him, but I was also proud of his stamina. Now we had more sick in our car. Two people were tormented by stomach ulcers. Two others were stricken with erysipelas. Many were tortured by dysentery. Three children were lying near the door. They looked hot and feverish. One of the doctors examined them and stood back aghast.
They were ill with scarlet fever! A shudder ran through me. In these close quarters the entire company would be exposed to the disease. It was impossible to isolate the youngsters.
The only quarantine we could enforce was to have those who were near the infected ones turn their backs. At first everybody tried to keep away from the sick to avoid contagion.
But as the days passed we became indifferent to such dangers.We had to live with our corpses around us. The only quarantine we could enforce was to have those who were near the infected ones turn their backs. Other soldiers, privates and officers, were sending home so much more in jewelry, clothes, art objects, and food. When the last Germans came through the village, ahead of the Red Army , they took a large number of women from the village as hostages and Olga was one of the captives.
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