I Asked the Nazis to Kill Me. Then My Ordeal Began

Holocaust survivor Edith Fox finally tells her story
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2018 11:06 AM CST
I Asked the Nazis to Kill Me. Then My Ordeal Began
Survivors of Auschwitz arrive at the International Monument to the Victims of Fascism at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Oswiecim, Poland, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Edith Fox says she's "afraid people are forgetting," which spurred the 90-year-old to do something she hasn't done in more than 70 years: recount her Holocaust story of survival. First appearing in the Arizona Daily Star in November, her account was on Saturday shared by the Buffalo News—that being the city she ended up in after immigrating from Germany. The Czechoslovakia native survived for years in Auschwitz, but the horrors of her ordeal weren't relegated to its grounds. They started in 1941, when as a 13-year-old she and her family were taken by the Nazis to Poland, under the false promise of getting a home there. Instead, upon arriving, the Nazis told them to run and cut down those who were too slow. "They killed my mother right in front of me," says Fox.

She implored the Nazis to kill her, too. Instead they put her and her friend Leah to work in a Polish ghetto. The girls ended up hiding in the chimney of a furnace for at least two days after the Nazis came for everyone. She was later captured and sent to Auschwitz, where she "saw too many things. Some people couldn't take it anymore and ran into the electrified fence to kill themselves. They just went up in flames." In the final months of the war, she was put on a dangerously packed train and ultimately decided she'd rather brave the January snows than get trampled on the train. She jumped and ran, hitting a tree and flattening her nose in the process. She eventually found a Czech soldier and was "so happy." But it was simply a Nazi in that uniform and she was captured once more. Read her full story, which explains how she ended up in Buffalo and later Tucson, here. (Read more Holocaust survivor stories.)

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