Pregnant in Auschwitz: Holocaust survivor recalls split-second decision that saved her and her son
The following story was printed last week in the National Post:
Miriam Rosenthal was four-months pregnant, starving, bone-tired, cold, filthy and afraid when an SS officer in big black boots and a crisp uniform appeared before the barracks in Auschwitz with a loudspeaker in hand.
All pregnant women line up, he barked. Line up, line up — your food portions are being doubled.
“Can you imagine?” Miriam asks. “Even women who were not pregnant stepped forward. I was standing with my younger cousin, but I wouldn’t go. She says, ‘Miriam, what are you doing?’ ”
“Something was holding me back. Someone was watching over me. I feel maybe my mother, maybe God. Two hundred women stepped forward and 200 women went to the gas chamber. And I don’t know why I didn’t step forward.
“I have asked rabbis. I have asked some big people and no one can give me an answer. If you believe in God, then God did it. If you believe it was my parents, then it was my parents, which is what I believe.
“They were such good people, generous, kind. And maybe for their sake, maybe that’s why I didn’t step forward. I have asked myself this question so many times as I lay in bed upstairs.”
Read more about Miriam Rosenthal’s incredible survival story here, including an account of her emotional reunion with her husband after the war.
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