In April 2013, I reviewed the book Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy. It tells the story of a Sylvia Perlmutter, a Jewish girl in the Lodz ghetto who was liberated in 1945 when she was 12 years old. Out of a quarter of a million people in the ghetto, only 800 survived, and of those 800, only 12 were children. Sylvia was one of them.
When I read the book in 2013, I wrote this in my review:
The Germans, for reasons I do not understand, took all the children away in the latter years and told their parents they were going to care for them better than they could in the ghetto. However, the children, being of no use to the Germans as workers and only a distraction to the adult Jews, were jammed into cattle cars and taken to death camps like Auschwitz, which was only a few hundred kilometers south from Lodz – where they were killed within hours of arrival.
What bestial people take babies, toddlers, small and older children under 14 away from their parents by force, by the thousands – with the full intent to just kill them? My German ancestors did.
The desperate parents went to extraordinary measures to hide their children. When the soldiers went house to house, they kicked open locked doors and ransacked apartments, looking for children in closets, trunks, under beds, wherever they could possibly be hidden. The agony the parents went through is unimaginable.
The agony for the children – well, you need to read Yellow Star to find out.
The key sentence here is:
What bestial people take babies, toddlers, small and older children under 14 away from their parents by force, by the thousands?