Friday, November 20, 2009

Murray Goldfinger's tale - Miraculously survived when "bullet bounced off his skull" and "American planes spotted his impending execution"

Article: "Holocaust survivor to share memories in Kristallnacht talk"

Note: use to find article if original link no longer works

- Extended version of Murray Goldfinger's comical tale


  1. My Great Uncle Amos was a Kapo slave worker in Auschwitz back in 1943, and he had to serve in a Sondercommando unit called the "Wheelbarrow Battalion". All the members of this unit were issued with a wheelbarrow for the duties they were required to perform.

    This involved getting up early from bed - before everyone else in the camp was awake. He would then grab his wheelbarrow and join all the other Kapos of the battalion at the camp perimeter. Their task was to push their wheelbarrows around the electrified barbed-wire fence, and load all the dead bodies of the inmates, who, in their despair, had committed suicide during the night on the high-voltage wires. There were often three dozen or more of these unfortunate souls who had decided to end their torment in this way - and the Kapos job was to collect them all and take them to the pits full of burning bodies .

    Amos always ensured that the wheel axel of his wheelbarrow was well lubricated before he set out, because one morning a Kapo friend of his - named Ezikiel, had neglected to oil his barrow properly, and each time the wheel revolved, it let out a dreadful squeak. This had irritated the SS guard so much that he punished Ezikiel by hanging him upside down and forcing a litre-full of 3-in-1 Engine Oil down his throat. Amos certainly didn't want this to happen to himself - and, let's face it, who would ?

    But Amos actually looked forward to this early morning duty, because as he was passing along the perimeter fence, a young girl outside the camp would always throw a piece of fruit over the electrified barbed-wire fence each day. Mostly it was an apple, but quite often it was an orange, a banana or a pear. On Saturday mornings she would lob a can of peaches or apricots over the fence, and on one occasion a whole pineapple came flying across the barbed-wire. Unfortunately, this hit Amos on the back of the head, and knocked him out cold for 10 minutes. The SS guard was furious, and gave Amos 5 strokes of the whip, before ordering the ferocious guard dogs to attack Amos's testicles. The brute also had the nerve to confiscate the pineapple!

    After the battalion had finished their work at the perimeter fence, Amos and his crew would then have to clear up all the babies mangled heads and bodies that the SS guards had bashed up against the crematorium wall the day before. The fiends had literally torn the infants from their mother's arms, grabbed them by their feet and swung them with full force against the sinister, dark blue stained brick wall - which was saturated with Hydrocyanic acid or "Prussian Blue".

    The final task that the "Wheelbarrow Battalion" had to do before breakfast each morning, was to carry the empty cans of Zyklon-B from the crematorias down to the wheelie-bins, which stood just outside the main gate - right alongside the sign informing new inmates that "WORK MAKES YOU CRAZY".

    Incidentally, wheelie-bin collection day at Auschwitz was on Thursday mornings, so Amos and his battalion had to get up much earlier that day in order to complete their tasks before the bin men arrived.