Holocaust Survivor Joseph Sher

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by ag131415
Last updated 4 years ago

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Social Studies
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Jewish History

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Holocaust Survivor Joseph Sher

BackgroundJoseph Sher was one of the few Jewish citizens who had survived, and lived to tell future generations about the holocaust. Born in the small polish town of Krzepice, his entire family had been forced to move out of their home and in to the ghetto city, Czestochowa. After years of facing death, disease, famine, and squalor as if it were the norm, Joseph was then separated from his family and forced in to slave labor by Hitler. Luckily, a sympathetic Gestapo chief who took pity on him helped him escape the labor camp. He was then led in to Russian territory, where the soviets treated him with hospitality and freed him from enslavement once and for all.

Holocaust Survivor Joseph Sher

Living In Terror Adolf Hitler forced 1000 young men living in Ciesznow between the age of 20 – 30 to build a new highway for him. Out of the people that went only three laborers came out alive, one of them being, holocaust survivor Joseph Sher. At 4:00 o’clock am, each worker had to wake up for a body count, and were expected to be on time for work at 5:00 o’clock am. So that not all of his slaves died of hunger, Hitler distributed half a kilo of bread to each worker per day and other nauseating foods. They dug up hills, cut down trees, and filled trenches, using all the energy they had to work, but still people were beaten and killed. Guards often beaten workers without reason and then shot them because they could no longer stand up and work after the beating. After given permission to rest, laborers were then driven in to small barns, where they slept in hay overflowing with lice. Many people died from scratching their already infected bites with their dirty nails. The only way to kill off the lice was to freeze them to death, by taking cold baths in waters 10 degrees below 0. Joseph Sher and other smart workers cut a hole in the thick ice and froze off the lice by jumping in the water completely naked. This processed had to take place every couple of days, because no matter how cold the water is or how long they stayed in there, the lice kept coming back. The terrible food that was fed to workers, they often got diarrhea, and the only bathroom they could use was a large ditch filled they dug up themselves, overflowing with waste. As they used they used the bathroom, guards often played with them, by shooting them and making them fall in to the ditch. Many people wanted to escape, but all those who tried had died, their bodies dragged back to camp, tied to a horse.

Forced Slave Labor

Jewish Star

Adolf Hitler

Obtaining Freedom On the may of 1943 Joseph Sher was transfered to the HASAG slave labor camp, where 4000 other Jews were forced to make ammunition for the German army. Joseph was transfered there to be a tailor working for the German officers, while his wife's job was to carry boxes full of ammunition to trucks, ready to be transported. They worked arduously for two years, until a day in 1945, when the Russians settled near their labor camp, and all the Germans ran. Around 10:00 am in the morning the Russians came in to Joseph's camp and told all the laborers working there that they were free. Joseph and the others exulted crazily for their freedom, until at 2:00 pm the Germans came back to their camp acting strangely. After abusing the Jews for so long they came back to warn them about how the Russians were going to kill them, because they manufactured bullets for the German army. They then offered to take them away to saftey on a train filled with cattle cars. Most of the Jews foolishly followed them in to the train, but a man warned Joseph that Hitler was going to kill them if the Nazis lost the war at 12 o'clock. Prudently Joseph Sher listened to his advice and took his wife away in to the woods, where they looked for shelter. They found a farm house, where the farmer let them stay for the night. The next morning the farmer told them that the Jews were dancing in the streets with the Russians in the city of Czestochowa. Joseph and his wife left immediately. They hiked for 10 miles and finally arrived in Czestochowa , and when they got there, they saw that what the farmer said was true. In the crowd of freed Jews Joseph found his brother Abe and his wife. They then resided in a building that had formerly been a German office.

A Nazi murdering two Jews


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