Flawlessly efficient gas chamber fails

Holocaust Survivors Visit School

By JASON STRAIT, Associated Press Writer

Thursday May 24 4:06 AM ET

WHITWELL, Tenn. (AP) — For two years, students at Whitwell Middle School collected paper clips with the goal of reaching 6 million — one for each Jew killed in the Holocaust.

On Wednesday, as they wrapped up a project that had far exceeded their expectations, they began putting faces and names with the statistics through firsthand accounts from survivors of the Nazi concentration camps of World War II.

Rachel Gleitman, now 77 and among four survivors who traveled from New York to the school in southeast Tennessee, told the students how close she came to being a victim of the Holocaust.

She recalled standing in a gas chamber at Auschwitz with her sister and aunt, but the gas never came. Years later she learned that only a mechanical error had spared their lives.

“I remember getting goose bumps right here,” said Gleitman, touching her chest over her heart. “I was in that group.”

Bernie Igielski, another survivor, said he narrowly avoided being sent to a crematorium three times and finally escaped during a two-mile death march to a gas chamber. […]