Haverford School twins’ grandfather shares Holocaust survival story
HAVERFORD — When Holocaust survivor and Haverford School grandparent Henry Kahn raised his left arm to reveal the number 184587 tattooed there, he demonstrated to his audience of Haverford School eighth-graders how the Nazis who imprisoned him during World War II dehumanized prisoners by taking away their names.
At Buchenwald, Kahn was too weak to work and just collapsed on the ground. A fellow inmate picked him up and gave him the moral boost to go on living, he recalled. The prisoners knew of the showers at Auschwitz that were actually Cyclon-B poisonous gas, and they were fearful of being gassed when told to shower. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when cold water sprayed on them.
At Buchenwald, hunger again plagued him, forcing him to eat grass until it made him sick. In the last stages of malnutrition, with painful boils on his body, Kahn felt the end was near.
[…] In the camp’s quarry prisoners senselessly carried rocks up and down from the top to the bottom and back again in a Nazi effort to save bullets and eliminate prisoners. […]
Kahn was asked why he decided to start speaking out now, when for years he remained silent and didn’t answer his own son’s questions about his past. “I’m in the autumn of my life,” he replied. “You are going to confront in the future people who deny the Holocaust. I can attest that it did happen.”
The Suburban and Wayne Times — News
©The Suburban and Wayne Times 2006