How 2 Men Escaped Auschwitz, Exposed the Holocaust to the World, and Saved Hundreds of Thousands of Hungarian Jews


Manage episode 338174990 series 2421086
By Scott Rank, PhD and Scott Rank. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Europe’s Jewish population suffered during every stage of the Holocaust, but by the time the Third Reich occupied Hungary and targeted its Jews for deportation and extermination, the concentration camps had reached their most efficient form. Historian Geralt Reitlinger said the Hungarian Holocaust was “the most concentrated and methodical deportation and massacre program of the war, a slaughter machine that functioned, perfectly oiled, for forty-six days on end.” Every day, 12,000 arrived at Auschwitz and either were forced into hard labor or met their ends in gas chambers. But if it were not for the bravery of two prisoners who broke out of the camps and broke the story to the world, hundreds of thousands more could have died.
After nearly suffocating in an underground bunker, Auschwitz prisoners Ceslav Mordowicz and Arnost Rosin escaped and informed Jewish leaders about what they had seen. Their testimony in early June, 1944, corroborated earlier hard-to-believe reports of mass killing in Auschwitz by lethal gas and provided eyewitness accounts of arrivals of Hungarian Jews meeting the same fate. It was the spark needed to stir a call for action to pressure Hungary’s premier to defy Hitler—just hours before more than 200,000 Budapest Jews were to be deported.
Todays guest is Fred Bleakly, author of The Auschwitz Protocols: Ceslav Mordowicsz and the Race to Save Hungary's Jews. We discuss how the courage of only a few people can do incredible good, even in the absolute worst of circumstances.

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