Holocaust Survivor’s Plea for Truth

By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV International

Germany is holding what are likely to be its last trials linked to the Holocaust, in which more than six million people, mostly Jews, were killed by the Nazis.

The four suspects are accused by German prosecuters of being an accessory to the murder of hundreds of thousands of people at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

Holocaust survivor Leon Schwarzbaum, a state witness at the trials of two of the suspects, demanded an honest account from them of what really happened at on that harrowing day.

“It is not important for me that they go to prison, but it is important that they speak about what they did.”

The 95-year-old angrily dismissed claims by some of the accused that they had been unaware of the mass killing.

He asserted they must have known because of the “unbearable stench” of burning bodies.

“They lie, they do not tell the truth. That is wrong. You could smell it. It was an unbearable stench, day and night, and not only there in the camp but across the entire area.”

He has already faced former camp guard Reinhold Hanning in the courtroom where he demanded he told the truth, in his account of what really went down that day.

“While I was speaking, he (Hanning) sat like that (with his head bent down) but then he lifted his head and listened. I hope that he will speak. I want to hear it from his mouth, what they did,” he said. 

The 95-year-old survivor, who lost all of his 35 family members in the Holocaust, survived because he worked at a Siemens factory camp near the Auschwitz camp.

After the war he briefly lived in the United States before returning to Berlin.

Schwarzbaum asserted he did not care for the suspect’s imprisonment but hoped for the truth to be told.

He not only considered it his duty to speak for the dead, but also to educate young people about the horrors of the Holocaust.

“Who should tell them? They believe me. I tell the truth about what I experienced, not about things I have just heard about, but things I saw for myself,” Schwarzbaum said. 


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