Holocaust Survivor Challenges Students to End Prejudice
Now a resident of Pomona, Gabrielle Silten was arrested by the Nazis in June 1943 along with her parents and grandmother, and transported to a Nazi concentration camp in Westbork, Holland. Silten was 10 years old at the time.
Adults were given jobs, but as a child, Silten had nothing to do except wait in the barracks for her parents to return from work, and play games with other children.
One game the children played was gas chamber, Silten said. They would dig a hole in the dirt, put stones in the hole, and place the dirt back in the hole.
Silten said the hole represented the gas chamber, the stones represented the people, and the dirt being placed back in the hole was the closing of the chamber door and the end of the prisoners’ lives.
Silten and her family were later transported to Thereisenstadt in the modern-day Czech Republic and assigned barracks that housed 50 people. […]
By the end of 1944, there were not enough adults left and children were sent to work. Silten worked as a message carrier and with the other children in the crematorium.
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