Von der Gstättn nach Auschwitz

Jüdische Kinderzwangsarbeiter 1938–1945

  • Johannes-Dieter Steinert
Keywords: children forced labour, Holocaust, Auschwitz, abuse, violence, personal experiences

Abstract

This article is based on a research project that evaluated – alongside contemporary documents – over 500 autobiographical testimonies in which survivors of the Holocaust reported on their time under German occupation, on ghettos and camps, on the fates of their families, and on forced labour. Jewish children were forced to work in all sectors of industry, mining, and agriculture. They worked in the ghettos, in the concentration and extermination camps, and in the construction of motorways and railways, defensive fortifications, barracks, and airstrips. On the basis of a sample, the article traces an arc from the forced labour performed by Jewish children in the Viennese dump in 1938 to the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz. In summary, the article focuses on the attempts made in the personal testimonies to explain one’s own survival and the lifelong consequences of forced labour in the shadow of the Holocaust.

Published
2019-12-09