With the Jewish term “Shoah” we mean the genocide of more than 10 millions of Jewish people from 1933 to  1945 during the World War II in Europe because of the fascist regime. As well as Jews, other victims were gypsies, Serbs, opponents of the regime, disabled, homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses. All these people were deported to concentration or extermination camps (“lager” in German) and they were completely deprived of their identity: their hair was shaved, they had a tattooed number  which represented their new name and they were dressed with a striped uniform. In addition, they were forced to labour until death in gas chambers. The camps were located in Germany and in Poland as well; among them the most terrible we remember was Auschwitz-Birkenau and the few people who succeeded in surviving just escaped from there, sometimes helped by  German people who worked there. The path they were forced to do from their homes to the camps lasted several days, in fact lots of people died of cold, hunger or suffocation before getting to that hell. Once arrived, there was a division between males and females and a selection based on  health’s state in order to verify the capacity to forced labour. Kids, old and ill people were immediately brought to the gas chambers and killed. An important testimony about Jews’ life at that time is the memoir “If This is a Man” by Primo Levi. Unfortunately, the survivors of the Holocaust are less and less but we mustn’t forget what happened and especially we must not to repeat this dramatic event in the future, hoping in a better world and helping each other.

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Sofia Mangiavillano


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