Yad Vashem features Death March survivors for Women's History Day

When the survivors were finally liberated by the US army, only 350 Jewish women were still alive.

By
March 7, 2019 18:33
1 minute read.
YOUNG HOLOCAUST survivors arrive at the Atlit detainee camp, 1945.

YOUNG HOLOCAUST survivors arrive at the Atlit detainee camp, 1945.. (photo credit: ZOLTAN KLUGER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

An online exhibition, The Death March to Volary, portraying a brutal death march endured by more than 1,000 Jewish women, is being featured by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, for Women's History Month and International Women's Day.

The exhibition portrays the harrowing fate of the 1,300 women, who were forced on a march from the Schlesiersee (today Sława) concentration camp in Upper Silesia, western Poland, in the unbearably freezing cold of January 1945.

The women reached the concentration camp of Helmbrechts in Bavaria on March 6, where they were stripped of their clothes so they could be fumigated. Meanwhile, the women stood naked in the cold, waiting for hours. This was only the beginning of their suffering in Helmbrechts which survivors described as "hell on earth – the hardest part of the death march."



In the face of the approaching Allied forces, the Germans evacuated the 577 surviving Jewish prisoners and 590 non-Jewish prisoners from Helmbrechts, arriving in Volary three weeks later. When the survivors were finally liberated by the US army, only 350 Jewish women were still alive.

The online exhibition includes the testimony of Major Aaron S. Cahan, a Jewish medical officer in the US army who was among those who liberated the survivors. "My first glance at these individuals was one of extreme shock, not ever believing that a human being can be degraded, can be starved, can be so skinny and even live under such circumstances," he said.

"When I entered the room, I thought that we had a group of old men lying... I was surprised and shocked when I asked one of these girls how old she was and she said 17, when to me she appeared to be no less than 50," Cahan concluded.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Hebrew inscriptions found in Vilna Great Synagogue from 200 years ago
July 23, 2019
Archaeologists find inscriptions in destroyed Vilna synagogue - watch

By BENJY SINGER

Cookie Settings