Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land

By Sara Nomberg-Przytyk; Eli Pefferkorn et al. | Go to book overview

THE EXTERMINATION OF THE MIDGETS

A transport arrived from Hungary late at night. Since there was no one in the infirmary at that late hour, Mengele ordered the SS men to break down the gate and take the family of midgets to the room located in the rear of the infirmary. Only the women were taken there as the men had already been taken to the men's camp.

Early that morning we arrived at the infirmary as usual, before roll call. In the infirmary we found three female midgets, two normal women who were married to midgets, and a three-year- old boy who was the son of a midget. In its entirety the family consisted of ten people. They had all been circus performers in Budapest.

The father of the family was a midget, and the mother was a tall, strong woman. She had borne only midgets: three daughters and three sons. The women had normal nicely shaped heads and curly hair. They spoke good German in a clear, bright voice. Their height, about fifty centimeters, did not bother them. Their short stature and their small feet and hands were the source of considerable attention, and the attention was not solely professional. "We have had proposals of marriage," they assured us and told us how certain men played with them as if they were dolls. One of the sons had married a normal woman, a pretty girl who had given birth to a normal boy in good physical condition.

"Is this really the son of that midget?" asked Mengele.

The other SS men were not stingy with jokes about that subject either.

Of the millions who came to Auschwitz, Mengele loved to single out those who had not been created "in God's image." I remember how he once brought a woman to our area who had two noses. Another time he brought a girl of about ten years of age who had the wool of a sheep on her head instead of hair. On another occasion, he brought a woman who had donkey ears. Now he had

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Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Translator's Foreword ix
  • Alienation 3
  • Exchange 8
  • New Arrivals 13
  • Without Pity 17
  • Death of the Zugang 22
  • Salvation 27
  • The Roar of the Beast 31
  • The Infirmary 36
  • What Kind of a Person Was Orli Reichert? 41
  • The Fight for Masha's Life 43
  • A Plate of Soup 45
  • Erika's Red Triangle 48
  • A Peculiar Roll Call 51
  • The Block of Death 53
  • Morituri Te Salutant 58
  • Marie and Odette 63
  • Esther's First Born 67
  • Old Words -- New Meanings 72
  • Children 79
  • A Living Torch 81
  • The Little Gypsy 83
  • Taut as a String 85
  • The Extermination of the Midgets 89
  • Natasha's Triumph 94
  • The Price of Life 98
  • The Lovers of Auschwitz 100
  • The Dance of the Rabbis 105
  • Revenge of a Dancer 107
  • The Verdict 110
  • Friendly Meetings 114
  • Old Women 118
  • Ilya Ehrenburg Addresses Us 121
  • The New Year's Celebration 123
  • The Bewitched Sleigh 127
  • The Camp Blanket 132
  • In Pursuit of Life 137
  • The Plagues of Egypt 142
  • Without the Escorts 146
  • The First Days of Freedom 151
  • The Road Back 155
  • Editors' Afterword 163
  • Glossary 183
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