"When we approached the gate, we were separated into two groups. With not even a word, just a motion of a hand, he waved my mother into one line, and me into another. I had no idea that it would be the last time I would ever see my mother."
We took our students yesterday to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie. The kids were priviledged to meet Magda Brown, a Jewish woman from Hungary who was sent to Auschwitz when she was 16 years old.
When she walked into the camp, she was separated from her mother, who was probably killed that day. It was the last time she saw any member of her immediate family.
Since she was young enough to be strong and old enough to work, she was sent out of Auschwitz and to a work camp near Frankfurt, Germany. She survived there long enough to be rescued by American troops in 1945.
I got a chance to chat with her afterward. What floored me about her is how absolutely normal and happy her life has been since surviving one of history's worst episodes. I got a sense that it was her ultimate revenge against those who perpetrated it. She is my hero.