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Auschwitz: A survivor's story

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 27.01.2015 12:18
  • Survivor Celina Biniaz on Auschwitz-Birkenau.
As Poland marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, survivor Celina Biniaz recalls her wartime ordeal.

Survivors taking part in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

Now based in California, Biniaz flew to Poland to take part in this week's commemorations.

''I think the 70th anniversary is a very important anniversary because I don't imagine there will be too many people left from my generation for the 80th,'' she told Radio Poland correspondent Nick Hodge in Oświecim.

Biniaz, who grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Kraków, endured the horrors of the Nazis' Jewish Ghetto in the city, before being moved to the Płaszów forced labour camp.

She was set to be saved on Oskar Schindler's famed list, but a bureaucratic mistake saw her and her mother transported to Auschwitz.

''We just didn't know what was going to happen,'' Biniaz recalls.

While imprisoned at the camp, Biniaz was examined by the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, who performed selection processes.

''That to me was the most frightening experience,'' she says.

''Because at one point when I passed him he pushed me to the side of non-living.''

In this audio report, Biniaz reflects on life in the death camp, Holocaust deniers, and her hopes for the future.

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