Arek Hersh

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Arek Hersh MBE is a survivor of the Holocaust.

He was born in Sieradz Poland and was taken to his first concentration camp when he was only eleven years old. The camp started out with 2,500 men, eighteen months later only 11 were alive. Arek moved around several camps before being taken to Auschwitz. Apparently, even as a young boy at the time, Arek figured that if you were placed in a group with sick, young or old people, you were going to be killed as you were of no use to the Nazis. So, before entering the camp, where Jews were lined up in queues of fitter people and weaker people, Arek bravely crossed to the fitter queue, while a commotion happened near the rear of the line (SS officers tried to take a child from its mother), and in doing so, saved his own life. As the war came to a close and Germany was surrounded by the Allies, Arek and the rest of the Jews at Auschwitz were transported away across the country. He was eventually liberated at Theresienstadt ( Terezin, Czechoslovakia ) on the 8th May 1945 by the Russian Army. There were 5,000 Jews in his town but only 40 of them came out alive.

The night before he was liberated, him and a few survivors found an empty German warehouse and from it took, as much food as they wanted, they ate so much their stomachs hurt due to the lack of rich fatty foods for so long, and Arek had his first taste of chocolate in five years!

The Russian Soldiers let all of the surviving Jews do what ever they wanted with the Germans and Arek...
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