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March 25, 1983 - Image 55

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-03-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

My Student Was a Guard at Auschwitz

By JUDITH B. BLUSTEIN

trying to improve its em-
While living in Stuttgart, ployees' command of the
ermany, I was asked to English language.
teach English by the Office
The class was held in one
of Civilian Personnel. The of the numerous Kasernes
class was comprised of in greater Stuttgart, Valdez
German nationals who were Barracks.
employed by the United
One Monday afternoon,
States Army. The Army was we met and decided to per-

A Very Healthy and Happy

Passover

to our friends
and customers

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WISH THEIR CUSTOMERS
AND FRIENDS A
VERY HAPPY AND
JOYOUS PASSOVER

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626-2630

fect our English by relating
what we'd each done over
the weekend.
"I took my family to
visit Dachau," one of the
students said.
"Oh," I said. "How was
it?"
"It was okay but nothing
like Auschwitz," the stu-
dent, who's name was
Bruno, replied.
"Auschwitz?"
"Ja, I used to be a
guard at Auschwitz con-
centration camp."
After recovering from the
initial shock of Bruno's re-
velation, I decided to follow
up on his story.
After he was born, Bru-
no's mother left him in the
care of her parents and took
off for England. In England,,,
she met and fell in love with
an Orthodox Jew. Con-
sequently she studied long
and hard and underwent
conversion by the London
Orthodox Beth Din.
Meanwhile, Bruno had
turned 16 and was con-
scripted into the German
army where he was as-
signed to guard duty on the
outer perimeter of Au-
schwitz. He says that he
could see the prisoners
going out to work in the ad-
jacent fields and could smell
the smoke coming from the
big chimney (crematoria)
although he had no idea
about what was going on.
He and other army
troops were deliberately
told nothing about the

Friday, March 25, 1983 55

HAPPY & HEALTHY PASSOVER
TO OUR FRIENDS & CUSTOMERS

death camp. All through
the war, he stayed in
touch with his Orthodox
Jewish mother and he
still visits her periodi-
cally in London.
Now in his mid-50s,
Bruno knows quite a bit
about Jewish customs and
usages. When I told the
class I had to return to the
U.S., Bruno brought his
guitar to our farewell party.
He played German, Jewish
and Israeli folk songs.

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