Seventy years after the fact, the Holocaust continues to challenge us. No matter how many books are written, movies produced, or oral histories collected, the sweeping scale and sheer malevolence of the Final Solution elude our grasp.
Gene Klein was born in Czechoslovakia in 1928. In 1944, at the age of 16, he and his family were deported to Auschwitz. The Kleins were aboard one of the very first trains of this mass deportation.
Shortly afterwards, he was transferred to a slave labor camp in Poland.
Now Gene Klein’s daughter, Dr. Jill Klein, tells her father’s story in a book called “We Got the Water.” It’s the remarkable account of how four members of her father’s family – Gene, his two sisters, and their mother – all survived the Holocaust.
More below the media player.
Listen to Jill Klein
The Indie Author Life
Hot water came from the showerheads, so we got washed, and afterward we went into another room where we got grey shift dresses like long shirts, made of stiff cotton… They gave us men’s socks, all kinds of men’s and women’s underwear… We were laughing when we saw those fantastic, ridiculous underwear. Instead of laughing, we should have been screaming. (from Lilly Klein’s Diary)