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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Echoes & Reflections

Lesson 5

Information about community and teamwork in the camps

Although the Nazis terrorized and dehumanized prisoners in Auschwitz, as well as in other concentration camps under their control, many Jews attempted to retain their dignity and humanity. Even in unendurable conditions, people sought support, cooperation and friendship. For instance, Ovadiah Baruch, a young Jewish prisoner who was deported to Auschwitz from Greece, notes that the support of his friends helped him survive. He states, “During the death marches [from Auschwitz] we were three friends, Yom Tov Eli, Michael and I. We were connected heart and soul. Throughout the whole time we were prisoners in Auschwitz we stayed in close contact….During the death marches, Michael developed dysentery. He was so weak that he could barely continue to walk, and he begged us to go on without him. Yom Tov Eli and I insisted that we would carry him and support him as best as we could."


 [Source: Shachar Yigal, Oh Madre (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2002), pp. 86-87, Hebrew]

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