Gas Chamber Survivor Who Found Love at Belsen
By Laura Elston, PA
Fri 21 Jan 2005
Gena Turgel entered the gas chamber at Auschwitz and lived to tell the tale.
In the winter of 1944, the 21-year-old was made to strip naked with her mother inside the concentration camp’s extermination block and wait, but miraculously the deadly poison was never released.
“We were trembling. I didn’t know where we were. Inside, it looked terrible. A woman came in that I recognised from a previous camp. She was very shocked I was there and went out again.
“We waited a while and then water came through the walls. It was wonderful. For many weeks we had had no water on our backs. We were all drinking it.
“As we came outside, the women there said how wonderful it was to see us. They screamed with happiness. I didn’t understand what they meant. I said ‘What are you shouting about?’
“They said ‘Don’t you know? You were in the gas chamber.‘ I lost my voice. I couldn’t produce any saliva.”