BUCHENWALD la Maudite - Femmes N.N. Ravensbruck Mathausen Bergen Belsen - About cursed Buchenwald, Ravensbrük, Mauthausen, Bergen Belsen, by camp prisoner Fernand Wiszner. Chaumont (France), 1946 - First edition. French.
A French journalist captured by the Gestapo on charges of collaboration with the enemy, was taken to Compiègne where he spent several weeks in early 1943, from where he was taken to Buchenwald where he remained as a prisoner almost until the end of the war. In his book he describes in detail the Buchenwald camp and the daily events there. The harsh torture he underwent upon arriving at the camp, the severe illnesses he endured as a prisoner and the difficulty with which he survived them, the hunger, forced labor and endless roll calls in the cold, he tells of the horrific recurring scene of the orchestra composed of prisoners who were forced to accompany prisoners going to forced labor and those condemned to death, the gallows and executions, prisoner markings, the harsh punishments the Nazis inflicted on prisoners for "offenses" such as stealing bread, and more.
In Buchenwald he underwent harsh torture and barely managed to survive. Regarding one of the times he was on the verge of death, he writes: "I did not want to die in this accursed country, I do not want to exit through the chimney of the crematorium, but through the entrance door, I wanted to see my homeland again... From the first days we arrived our friends died. All those who were in poor health were condemned to death...".
In Buchenwald, Fernand worked in a group of 100 people to whom a commander was attached who had the right to freely beat the workers. The group was tasked with transferring large stones from the quarry to a nearby building by hand alone without any means. Many of the group's prisoners lost their finger tips during work and became disabled in other body parts as well, and many died during the work. In one chapter he documents the Nazis' abuse of a large group of Jews who arrived at the camp from Hungary, as well as forced labor and execution of Jewish children. He also describes a horrific execution in the quarry itself of several prisoners who were punished for not meeting deadlines. In a special chapter dealing with the fate of Jews in the camp, he describes the mass murder and the removal of victims' bodies to a mass grave at a pace that the prisoners themselves could not keep up with daily. He documents the rapid evacuation of the camp on June 6 with the American invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944: "In less than 10 minutes the entire camp was outside" he writes. But he and his friends remained to work and were not evacuated. He and other prisoners continuously sought opportunities to escape, and toward the end of the war he indeed succeeded in escaping, was recaptured after a few days and transferred to Ravensbrück, where he remained until the end of the war when the camp was liberated.
Rare. Only two listings in the world cat library catalog.
154 p. 18 cm. Good condition.