My family's story - Jews in WW2

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    It's the end of History week! It's been such a great week full of some really cool information, quizzes, discussions, and more. I've learned loads, as I'm sure everyone else has too.

    I mentioned it very briefly a few days ago in another thread, but I'd like to expand on the story of my great-grandmother and her family who were Jews in Germany during WW2.

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    I'd like to say now that I know little information, and some has been discovered through some deep research so a couple of pieces may not be completely accurate, but I'll be sure to point these out as I write. The only person to survive into my lifetime was my great-grandmother, and she doesn't ever talk about her experience, so I only know what she told her husband and children that got passed on down to me.

    Okay, so it all started in Leipzig, Germany. My great-grandmother, Inge, lived with her father, mother, and her sister. They were all devout Jews, and had a number of friends in the community. They were a close-knit family. By the time the Nazis got to them, Inge was in her mid teens. I'm not sure of the year exactly, but they were all taken together. They were put on a train and sent straight to Sachsenhausen. Inge, her mother, and her sister remained there together, but her father was never seen again. It is thought he died during his time at the camp, or died in a forced evacuation to a second camp, rather than being killed on arrival.

    At Sachsenhausen, there was a lot of medical experimentation - particularly with sulfur mustard gas and (now) illegal drugs. The prisoners were also used a lot for testing, and making products for the German army. Prisoners were forced to walk between 16 and 25 miles per day in all conditions and across a variety of surfaces to test military footwear. A number of German companies, including Heinkel, AEG, and Siemens, owned parts of concentration camps (including Sachsenhausen) and prisoners were forced to build aircraft for them to use in the German's fight against the Allies.

    In the Spring of 1945, the Red army was approaching. Plans were made for evacuation. On the 20th-21st April 1945, 33,000 inmates were forced to march North-East to another camp. Of course, most of the prisoners were exhausted, sick, and weak. Thousands did not survive this death march, and those who collapsed en route were shot by SS officers. On April 22nd 1945, the Red army and the Polish army's 2nd infantry division liberated the remaining 3,000 prisoners, which included 1,400 women. My great-grandmother, Inge, and her mother and sister were 3 of them. They received medical treatment and survived.

    Together, they all moved to Berlin. Inge remained there for only a couple of years, as in 1947 she met my great-grandfather, Ron, while he was serving with the RAF in Berlin. It was love at first sight, and a few months later she moved to England. She got herself a job and lived with his parents in Birmingham while he finished his service. He returned in August 1948, and days later they married. They have since remained in Birmingham, and a few years ago celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary, and in a couple more years they'll be celebrating their 70th!

    I'm happy to take questions, but I can't promise I'll have the answer
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    That was really interesting though awful that such evil happened. Can I ask, did your great-grandmother have one of those number tattoos on her arm? My wife's grandfather was also in a concentration camp during WW2 and whenever I see him I see that tattoo and it always makes me think.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    That was really interesting though awful that such evil happened. Can I ask, did your great-grandmother have one of those number tattoos on her arm? My wife's grandfather was also in a concentration camp during WW2 and whenever I see him I see that tattoo and it always makes me think.
    Yeah, she has the tattoo. She tends to cover it up with sleeves, but I have seen it a few times. I've read that these weren't widely used across all camps, so I'm not exactly sure when or where she came to get hers though

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