Nightmares: Memoirs of the Years of Horror Under Nazi Rule in Europe, 1939-1945

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Syracuse University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 274 pages
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When World War II erupted in Europe, Konrad Charmatz was a prospering businessman in Sosnowiec, Poland, a loving son, and an aspiring poet. For the next seven years he witnessed the Holocaust as it destroyed his family, his country and his culture. In this study of suffering and survival, he gives his own personal account of the Warsaw ghetto, the death chambers at Auschwitz, the transport trains, the slave labour camps of Dachau, and the liberation. And from the perspective of the renowned journalist he later became, he also describes how the Holocaust was carried out, not only at the level of governments and their armies, but at the level of the individuals who took its orders. Few people survived the Holocaust from such close range or for so long, and few remembered it with the eye of a practiced journalist.
 

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Contents

The First Day Amongst the Wreckage in Warsaw
112
Work in the Ruins
116
Destiny Gives Me a Chance
120
Relations Between the Camp Inmates and the Poles
123
Belong to the Privileged Class
124
Block Elders
127
My Luck Runs Out
132
The First Day in the Strajkommando
139

TheJudenrat
20
The Problem of Shelter in the Ghetto
23
A Jewish Cafe in the Ghetto
26
Liquidations
28
Labor Camps
30
The First Transfer
33
The Second Transfer
38
The Third Mass Transfer
41
The Mournful Mood in the Ghetto
45
The Turn Comes to Liquidate the Workshops
48
The Last Action
50
The Liquidation of the Judenrat
51
The Completion of the Liquidation
53
PART TWO My Personal Fate
56
Fall into the Grasp of the Gestapo
57
Those in the Prison
61
A Cell ofJews Only
66
My Mother Appears to Plead My Case
68
The Noose Around My Neck Gets Tighter and Tighter
70
If a Misfortune Is Destined It Will Come Right into the House
74
Get a Notice to Report to the Dulag
78
We Arrive at the Slave Labor Camp
80
The Day Arrives
84
The First Day in Hell
87
Block Number 7
90
Life in the Block at Birkenau
94
The Work in Birkenau Camp
96
A Strange Meeting in Hell
98
Break Down
105
Warsaw
109
Jews Bake Matzo in Hell
141
Typhoid Breaks Out in the Camp
144
After the Epidemic
147
We Await Evacuation from Warsaw
149
We March out of Warsaw
155
The Second Day of the Death March from Warsaw to Dachau
159
The Third Day of the March
161
The Miracle of Water
163
The Hellish Scenes in the Locked Train Wagons
167
We Reach Dachau
172
Miihldorf and Waldlager Forest Camp
174
A New Trial
177
Destiny Offers Me a New Chance
179
The Klausenburg Rebbe
184
The Good Germans
188
The Last Winter in the Concentration Camp
190
News from the Front
193
The Rescue Operation to Munich
196
Mercy or Fear for the Future
199
The Front Gets Closer
203
The Devil Trips Me Up
207
My Last ChanceRun Away
211
My Fate Hangs in the Balance
221
The Downfall of the Third Reich
228
Jewish Revenge
239
The First Contacts with My Family
248
Sosnowiec
254
In the City of My Birth Ostrowiec
263
Glossary
272
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