On a Sunday morning, a crane lowered a rusty remnant of the Holocaust onto tracks outside Manhattan's Museum of Jewish Heritage—a vintage German train car like those used to transport men, women, and children to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps, the AP reports. The windowless boxcar is among 700 Holocaust artifacts, most never before seen in the US, which are being prepared for one of the largest exhibits ever on Auschwitz—a once ordinary Polish town called Oswiecim that the Nazis occupied and transformed into a human monstrosity. The New York exhibit opens May 8, the day in 1945 when Germany surrendered and the camps were liberated.
German-made freight wagons like the one in the exhibit were used to deport people from their homes all around Europe. About one million Jews and nearly 100,000 others were gassed, shot, hanged, or starved in Auschwitz out of a total of 6 million who perished in the Holocaust. That fate awaited them after a long ride on the kind of train car that's the centerpiece of the New York exhibit. "There were 80 people squeezed into one wooden car, with no facilities, just a pail to urinate," remembers Ray Kaner, a 92-year-old woman who still works as a Manhattan dental office manager. "You couldn't lie down, so you had to sleep sitting, and it smelled." Click for the full story.
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