“Their voices will not be silenced by hate”
Holocaust survivor relates horrors to students
animals. The bread they were given was
“If people gave up
and Canadian troops, she soon made her
made with 30 per cent flour and 70 per cent
way to Sweden where she eventually met
sawdust. The soup they were served was
her husband before the two immigrated to
they died. I didn’t
“I’m here to speak for them – for the
made from dirty potato peelings or worse.
children – so that their voices will not be
One day prisoners arrived with something
For years, Olsson kept her story secret,
want to die because
silenced by hate.”
known as “surprise soup” made with tufts
but eventually she knew the world needed
of human hair and bones.
a teenaged Eva Olsson had to deal with the
I had a sister who
Olsson and other female prisoners were
later sent to Essen where she was forced to
She offered simple words of advice for
was three years
the children at Plantagenet in order to
things were better there, the Allies soon
eliminate the kind of hate that can lead to
a cattle car with other Jews and then forced
bombed the factory and the barracks where
bullying, and in extreme cases, lead to the
younger than I was
the prisoners lived.
kinds of horror she experienced.
War II German concentration camps of
“Just do unto others as you would want
and I was
Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. By the time
in 1945, she and other prisonerswere sent to
them to do unto you and I guarantee you
Bergen-Belsen was liberated in April 1945,
Bergen-Belsen by the Nazis in hopes the
there won’t be any bullying at your school.
she had seen her extended family of 19
responsible for her.
nearly exterminated –with onlyOlsson and
rampant. Prisoners too sick to move lay on
we treat other human beings with respect
her younger sister remaining.
the floor of the prisoners’ barracks among
If I died there
The 86-year-old author told the grim
on the students.
wouldn’t be anyone
“I was lying on the barren floor among
as part of the Upper Canada District School
the dead, the diarrhea and the lice, but I was
that hearing a personal account of the
else to look after
Board’s character development program.
still strong enough not to give up,” she said.
Olsson tells her story so that people will not
about it in books or seeing it on the History
forget the six million Jews who died in
die because I had a sister who was three
concentration camps, and so that children
years younger than I was and I was
“It really made me feel like I was in her
responsible for her. If I died there wouldn’t
shoes living it,” said Zimmermann, 14. “I
hatred can bring.
be anyone else to look after her.”
felt. I don’t want to hate anymore because,
don’t feel the same anymore. I wouldn’t
“I’m here to bring the madness of the
as she says, hate can kill.”
want to bully anyone because of how she
power of hate to the screen so youwill have
the opportunity to see what hate did,” she
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said, standing before a screen where she
PAROISSE SAINT-PIERRE-APÔTRE Église Saint-Alphonse-de-Liguori Hawkesbury
projected pictures of the Holocaust during
She mentioned the grim statistics of the
Holocaust – 11 million dead, including 6
million Jews and 1.5 million children under
the age of 14.
The school gymnasium, filled with
le 21 avril
19 h 30 Messe de la Cène du Seigneur
fell silent as the vibrant grandmother spoke
le 22 avril
Célébration de la Passion du Seigneur
of that fateful day in May 1944 when she
19 h 30 Chemin de la croix
was packed into a rail car filled with 110
people outfitted with only one bucket of
le 23 avril
Veillée pascale avec messe de Pâques
water and another bucket for a makeshift
toilet. The air was stifling.
Jour de Pâques dimanche le 24 avril
Messes de la Résurrection du Seigneur
The prisoners had been told they were
8 h - 9 h 30 - 11 h
being shipped off to work at a brick factory.
Instead, the train stopped at the Auschwitz
concentration camp. When she emerged
Gracieuseté des Chevaliers de Colomb Conseil 9952 Ascension
fresh air. Instead the wind was filled with
smoke and an acrid smell she didn’t
Prisoners were separated into lines of
the healthy and the sick. Young women
and children, the sick and infirm went to
another … the one leading to the gas
fromher mother. She turned to look for her,
but she was gone.
“How I wished I could have put my
arms around her and told her how much I
loved her and how sorry I was for the times
I disobeyed her. But it was too late. I never
saw her again.”
It took victims 20 minutes to die in the
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gas chambers. When the chambers were
reopened, guards routinely found children
at the bottom of the body piles, their heads
crushed under the weight of the corpses
above them. Hair was removed from the
dead and sent to Germany where it was
manufactured into felt. The bodies were
then sent to the crematorium.
“That’s what we smelled day and night,
human flesh burning – our families’ flesh.”
She spoke of how the Angel of Death –
Dr. Josef Mengele – conducted experiments
at the camp on 4,000 sets of twins,
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deliberately infecting them with diseases
such as tuberculosis, and exposing them to
radiation treatments to make them sterile.
Only 148 survived.
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