Target Practice at Plaszow

Holocaust survivor speaks to the class

HUDSON — Rena Finder recalls sitting next to her friend Stella in a concentration camp outside Krakow, Poland, more than 60 years ago. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Stella fell over. When she reached behind her friend to help her up, Finder discovered her hand was wet with blood.

Stella had been shot by Amon Goeth, the camp commander known for using prisoners for target practice.


Finder and her mother were at Plaszow, the camp where her friend was used for target practice, […]


When Plaszow was shut down, Finder was shipped off by train to the Auschwitz death camp.

”All I could see was miles and miles of barbed wires,” she said. ”I remember that all of a sudden we were aware of a terrible stench. And we thought it was snowing. We tried to catch some of the snow, but it was not snow, those were ashes.”

The women were directed to the left to gas chambers or to the right to the showers. Finder and her mother were sent to the right, where Nazis shaved their heads, sprayed them with disinfectant, and sent them to the showers.



Jennifer Rosinski, Globe Correspondent
May 21, 2006

Webmaster notes: There was no line-of-sight from Amon Goeth’s residence at Plaszow to the camp internment area, so there is no way he could have shot the inmates (for more on this, see the “Schindler’s List section at Air Photo Evidence). Also, crematories — even Nazi crematories — emit neither scent nor ash, so if there was a stench in the air and ashes falling from the sky, it was not due to the crematories, as implied here. Finally, note that Finder is not reported to have seen the Nazi gas chambers: She was deloused and showered, and survived just fine — except for her memory.