Then I looked, but there was none to help;
I stared but there was none to aid -
So My own arm wrought the triumph,
And My own rage was My aid. (Isaiah 63:5

Selections from the Scrolls

The Diary of Leo der Junge

The Trail of Fire and Jewish Brotherhood

Shaul Returns

Does Birkenau Exist?

Passover in the Seventh Block

Crossing the Sea

Never Say There's Only Death

Is it a town?
No, it's not a town. There are no people.
What can you see through the crack, young man?
Black uniforms.
They're approaching the wagons. With whips. In their hands. Just a moment.
There's a sign.
What's written on the sign?

Does Birkenau exist? We looked for it on the map and couldn't . . . The wagon suddenly opens. Dogs. Germans. Lined up. With whips. Get out. Get out. Everybody running. From all the wagons. Children crying. And women. I fell down. Run. A whip lashes out. Oh, my glasses. I must find them. Another whiplash. My eyes fill with blood. It's running down from my forehead. Thank God! Only one lens is broken. I can see the professor holding on to the sleeve of a man in a striped shirt, is he Jewish? The professor asks him, "Sir, does Birkenau exist?"

The man nods impatiently. At the same moment the SS push the old professor to the left. A mother picks up her child and gets a blow on the head from a truncheon. Left. Left. Professor Albert! I wave to him. He cannot hear.

Our line is pushed to the right.


The largest Nazi concentration camp and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau was set up in April 1940, in Galicia, west of Krakow and south of Sosnowiec and Katowice in Silesia. The first camp held Polish political prisoners; the second camp was Birkenau, named after the nearby Polish village. The commander of the camp, Rudolph Hoess, was assigned the main role in implementing the Final Solution, that is, the physical annihilation of the Jewish people. In September 1941, the first experiments with the gas Zyklon B were carried out. The first victims were Soviet prisoners of war.

In January 1943, the gas chambers, disguised as showers, and four ovens (the crematorium) for incinerating the bodies (instead of burying them) were built. Already in March 1942, the Nazis had begun the mass destruction of Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Trains arrived from all parts of Europe, loaded with consignments of Jews for slaughter: from Poland, Slovakia, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Norway, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Greece, and North Africa. An underground sabotage movement was formed in the camp. With the retreat of the German army, Himmler gave orders for the gas installations to be dismantled and all traces of the slaughter to be erased (November 1944).

More than a million Jews, Gypsies, and members of other nations met their deaths in Auschwitz. On January 27, 1945, the Red Army liberated the camp and the 6,750 Jews and others who were left there.

SCROLLS Introduction



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